The remote indigenous Queensland community of Mornington Island has been inundated with support, after its quest to start the island’s first rugby league team was shared nationally through online giving platform GIVIT.
As part of an effort to revive the much-loved sport and help foster healthy community connections, Queensland Country Life put GIVIT in touch with Mornington Shire Council which requested GIVIT’s help to support the team by rugby league boots. Previously the team of 18 men had only one pair to share among them.
Through GIVIT, boots were donated from generous Australians from Victoria to Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.
The Council’s quest reached thousands of Australians through GIVIT’s donor database and social media, with a Facebook post reaching 16,000 people and shared almost 200 times by those wanting to help.
Within hours, more than double the amount of requested boots had been donated and posted directly to the Council.
GIVIT Founder and CEO, Juliette Wright, said GIVIT’s online platform provides donors with easy, safe, direct and effective way of supporting those in need.
“When Mornington Shire Council contacted us we knew we wanted to support this community and the people working to make a difference,” Juliette said. “We tapped into our national database and within hours items were being donated from across Australia.
“Through GIVIT’s website everyday Australians were able to see exactly what was required by members of this community and donate easily, ensuring the team had exactly what it needed.”
Many of the boots were donated by Shoes for Planet Earth, a charity working with local and international communities to provide recycled running shoes to those in need around the world.
Shoes for Plant Earth Co-Founder, Viv Kartsounis, said they were inspired by the story.
“We read about the Mornington Shire Council’s quest on GIVIT’s Facebook and immediately knew we wanted to help,” Viv said. “Hearing this story, knowing the need and the fact that the rest of Australia have a simply luxury these guys don’t – we wanted to change that.
“Shoes for Planet Earth gave 12 good-quality pairs of rugby league boots, we are so proud to help this remote Queensland community doing it tough.”
GIVIT is now working with Mornington Shire Council to secure other much-needed items for the team including rugby league balls, training shirts and exercise equipment.
Mornington Island is one of the many remote, rural and regional Australian communities currently being supported through GIVIT, a not-for-profit established in 2009 by Brisbane mum Juliette Wright.
Since 2009, more than 130,000 urgent requests for goods have been matched with the resources of the community and almost 1,000 charities supported through the system.
In recognition of her work to alleviate the effects of poverty nationwide, Juliette was recently named Australia’s Local Hero 2015 at the prestigious Australian of the Year Awards.
Juliette said she hopes through the simple act of giving, every Australian becomes a Local Hero.
“I want all Australians to understand how one simple, donated item has the ability to pull someone else out of poverty,” Juliette said. “Through GIVIT we can all be local heroes.”