We have had many new subscribers join our mailing list recently (thank you!)  & thought we’d put together a couple of “behind the scenes of GIVIT” blog posts to explain how we operate.

Have you ever wondered what type of charities are registered with GIVIT?  How do we register a charity? How about what items get requested?  Are there any items that charities may not request?

We are very conscious that our donors trust us & the work that we do & we value that trust very highly.  On the other side of things, we are also very conscious that charities trust that we will retain the dignity & privacy of their client.

This week we will concentrate on who the charities are that use GIVIT, and next week we will look further into how the requests end up on our What’s Needed list.

Who uses GIVIT?

We currently have over 850 registered Community Service Providers or “charities” registered with GIVIT who are all over this wonderful country of ours.

Each one of them must meet certain selection criteria in order to be considered for registration, however, the major criteria is that they must work directly with people who are marginalised, vulnerable or disadvantaged.

Others who use GIVIT may also include School Principals or Guidance Counsellors, and Chaplains and Priests.

The groups which use GIVIT can be broadly broken down into the following categories:

  • Women’s Refuges / Domestic Violence
  • Youth Services
  • Seniors / Aged Care
  • Physical Disability
  • Community Safety
  • Housing and Homelessness Services
  • Immigrant and refugee services
  • Housing and Homelessness

Our wonderful volunteers undertake detailed checks to ensure that charities who wish to use our services meet our criteria.  Only once these checks are complete are the charities and their case workers allowed to request items via GIVIT for their clients.

More next week about what items charities cannot request and how we approve the requests that they do make that you see on our What’s Needed list.

We received a copy of an email that a case worker sent to a caring donor who gave an urgently needed cot for the baby of a young Mum.

“My co-worker dropped in to give your donation to my client this morning on her way to work and she said that my client was so excited when she walked in with the portacot. My co-worker said to me ‘You should have seen her face’, then she went down and got the mattress, and my client exclaimed ‘Oh my gosh there is a mattress too!!’ My co-worker then said ‘wait, there’s more’, and gave her the bag with the blankets, care package, teddies and books. She said my client was so overwhelmed and exclaimed ‘It’s just like Christmas’ and was almost in tears.

This is a lovely young girl who has a 4 month old baby and the dad took off a week before she gave birth, so she has been doing it all alone with no family support. Thanks to your amazing donation she now knows that there are people out there in the world who are kind and caring. Thanks to GIVIT and awesome donors like you, it makes my job supporting young people so much easier! I really couldn’t do my job without donations like yours. So thank you so very much both from me and my clients. We really appreciate your support.”

Here are some of the current items that have been requested for children:

  • New balls for children in care (soccer, league, AFL, Union, netball etc) for a charity in South Brisbane.
  • Baby formula (within 3 months of sell by date) and bottles for homeless babies, for the Brisbane Homeless Connect event in November…..drop off in Brisbane (various locations).
  • New or gently used shoes in children’s sizes for Brisbane Homeless Connect event in November.
  • New underwear and socks for children for Brisbane Homeless Connect event in November.
  • New swimmers & rash shirts for boys + girls aged 3-14 y.o, for a subsidised swimming programme for disadvantaged kids living in refuges, may be dropped off or posted to Moorooka, Brisbane.
  • New Barbie dolls & accessories for Christmas gifts required for struggling families in Brisbane, drop off in various locations.

Please see the full What’s Needed List.  Thank you!

It’s amazing what you can learn from your own children – they often come out with pearls of wisdom.  Here are some of the responses we have heard from kids when they were asked about what giving means to them:

“Why is Clive Palmer spending his money on a Titanic replica and monster dinosaurs rather than helping find a cure for cancer or a charity?” Michael 12 y.o

“If some kids had no toys I think it would be bad. Give to GIVIT” Maddison 5 y.o

“It’s sad that people aren’t as lucky as us, and we should make it equal and donate more to them” Callum 12 y.o

“It’s good (GIVIT) because you can donate toys to kids who can’t afford things, and make them happy“ Ruby 11 y.o

“If I had cancer, I would want hair,” Olivia 7 y.o

Olivia is now 9 y.o. and finishing up the 4th grade.  When she was in 1st grade, she donated her hair to ‘Locks of Love’.  By the time Olivia was in 1st grade, her mum Laura had already battled breast cancer twice, once going through chemotherapy and losing her hair.  I asked Olivia if seeing her mum wear a wig impacted her decision to donate her hair.  She acknowledged that it did and added, “I heard about Locks of Love from my mum and I thought it was a good cause.  If I had cancer, I would want hair.  My mum had a wig for part of the time so I wanted to do this for someone”

 There you have it! What do your kids think of giving?

We would love it if you could post some of their responses on our Facebook page, so that we can all learn more. Don’t forget to add their name and age if you want to.

Brisbane Homeless Connect is a free event held on 13 November for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Over 1,400 guests attend the event & can access free assistance & enjoy a meal & activities within a welcoming environment.

Did you know that in Australia there are over 105,000 homeless people and 17.3% of Australian children living in poverty?  Scary stuff. So come on, let’s show the disadvantaged in our community that we DO care, and set our ‘grass roots’ movement in action!

GIVIT has been asked by the Brisbane City Council to help source urgently needed items for this event.

At the last Homeless Connect event in Brisbane 60 generous donors gave items that filled 30 pallets for the event. It was a wonderful effort in a short period of time. The GIVIT team know that we can do a lot better this time as the Brisbane City Council have given us more notice to engage our donors to help out.

Some of the specific items that are required include:

  • Items for Men – SHOES: all sizes – new or pre-loved; UNDERWEAR: all sizes – must be new; SOCKS – all sizes – must be new; SHAVING EQUIPMENT – must be new; TOOTHBRUSHES – must be new; and TOOTHPASTE – must be new
  • Items for Women – SHOES: all sizes – new or pre-loved; WOMEN’S UNDERWEAR: all sizes – must be new; WOMEN’S SANITARY ITEMS; FEMALE SHAVERS – must be new; TOOTHBRUSHES – must be new; TOOTHPASTE – must be new
  • Non Perishable Food Items – CANNED FOODS: Vegetables, fruit, tomatoes, beans, tuna, salmon, soup; BREAKFAST CEREALS; RICE/NOODLES/PASTA; DRIED FRUIT AND VEGES; FRUIT & VEGE JUICES; SPREADS: eg. Vegemite, cheese spread; CRACKERS/BISCUITS (No expiry dates before December 2013 please
  • Essential Items for Babies – BABY CLOTHES: all sizes; DISPOSABLE NAPPIES: all sizes; TOILETRIES FOR BABIES: baby wash, baby lotion, baby wipes, nappy rash cream, soft baby brushes, baby powder, baby toothbrushes & toothpaste; BABY FORMULA; BABY BOTTLES; BEDDING/LINEN: sleeping bags, blankets, wraps, towels, washers – new or pre-loved
  • Items for Teenagers & Children – SHOES: all sizes – new or pre-loved; UNDERWEAR: all sizes – must be new; SOCKS – all sizes – must be new; TOOTHBRUSHES – must be new; TOOTHPASTE – must be new

Homeless Connect is a ‘one-stop-shop’ model initiated in Brisbane in November 2006.  Areas of assistance that are provided on the day include accommodation, support and counselling, legal advice, employment options, health check-ups (GPs, podiatrists & ophthalmologists), massage & natural therapy treatments, food & beverages, personal care assistance (haircuts, showers and clothing).

Items like non-perishable goods may be dropped off at local ward offices, & toiletries may be dropped off at Council libraries, or either can be dropped off at the Council Offices in 266, George Street, Brisbane. The Council contact is Dion Wyatt on 07 3178 1137 if you’d like more details.

Please add a note and ensure that you mention GIVIT & the number of items you have donated when you drop off your items.

Check the ‘What’s Needed’ list on our website for further details of items required for the event as new items will be added each week.

Thank you!

Recently, one of our charities was preparing to move a young lady out of their hostel & into independent accommodation. Her only requests were for a sofa & a bed. She felt she could get along without a fridge etc, as comfort came first for her.

Her care worker looked in GIVIT’s Virtual Warehouse & found two IKEA chairs which looked suitable for a small unit.

Apparently this young lady is not one to show emotion or understand why anyone would do anything nice for her, but when she was shown the chairs she burst into tears and stated that “No one has ever done anything like this for me before” and “I have never had anything so nice, ever”.

We are told that if this young lady ever got to meet the donor she would squeeze the air out of them with thanks. Staff were being taken one by one to view the chairs, & a beautiful card was left on the care worker’s desk to thank her. The care worker sent a massive thanks to GIVIT & our wonderful donors who never cease to amaze her with their generosity.

Ain’t life grand?  Hearing this sort of feedback makes the whole GIVIT team feel wonderful, & we love sharing it with you guys too.