The Shire of Augusta Margaret River has partnered with GIVIT to handle offers of donated goods and services to assist communities recovering after an emergency.

This is the first WA based local government authority to formally partner with GIVIT and WA State Manager, Anna Presser, said she was thrilled to lay the foundations so GIVIT can assist in the event of a fire or local tragedy.

“This partnership aims to help meet the immediate material needs of residents and reduce the number of unsolicited donations received by the local government in times of emergency,” Mrs Presser said.

“We know that Western Australians are incredibly generous and want to help.

“This can lead to a lot of well-meaning donations, however local government agencies and charities working in the effected regions can become overwhelmed and this is where GIVIT steps in.”

During times of emergencies, council and local charities request goods and services that are needed through the GIVIT website.

“Members of the general public can then view what is required and simply click to donate items and have a real impact in supporting the people effected,” Mrs Presser explained.

Shire of Augusta Margaret River Corporate and Community Services Director, Annie Riordan, said the service would take some resourcing pressure off the local government during an emergency.

“We received many wonderful donations during and immediately after the 2011 Margaret River fires but the management of items was difficult given resources were already stretched,” she said. “This partnership with GIVIT means that should we ever be in the unfortunate situation again it will be a lot easier to match donations with recipients.”

GIVIT was established in Queensland in 2009 and has since expanded nationally. Thanks to the generous support of the Bankwest Foundation, as part of their efforts to support community resilience, GIVIT is now available to help in the event of a WA based emergency.

GIVIT also, outside of emergencies, works with more than 100 charities in WA to match quality goods with the people who need them most, all via the website givit.org.au, on a daily basis.

“If you have quality pre-loved items that you would like to see go directly to someone in need visit givit.org.au and pledge your items. GIVIT acts like a virtual warehouse which charities and local government agencies can browse on behalf of their clients.

“Likewise, we would like to encourage charities to register at givit.org.au and request items for their clients,” said Mrs Presser.

“Registration for charities is also free and it is our aim to work with WA charities to help as many vulnerable Western Australians as possible.”

Mrs Presser said the more charities that register to be supported on a day to day basis in the area, the quicker GIVIT can also be pulled into action during an emergency.

“GIVIT is a service that is here to help before and after natural disasters and the more donors and charities registered to use our service, the faster we can support recovery after an emergency.”

For more information or interviews please contact Lorelei Campbell on lorelei@givit.org.au