As a mum of two I have been busy preparing two kids for school, but I can only imagine how well teachers must prepare to start a new school year… especially as they prepare for 30 kids… and for life ahead!

One school in Cherbourg Queensland, go above and beyond and also teach their kids to cook. They are setting up a kitchen in the school to engage the students in food preparation and life skills. But unfortunately over summer, there was a fire in the classrooms and many items destroyed.

It moves me to swift action when I hear about a school affected by a fire, particularly when they are trying to get everything together for a smooth start to the year. The state school’s classroom was destroyed and claimed all the items the classroom teacher had for their students. They lost back to school supplies such as; school hats, whiteboard markers , school shoes, storage containers and more. Go to the website for the complete list – the items are IN RED! I have never seen red on the GIVIT website before… we really need your support!

If you have anything for their kitchen it would be incredible too, they need a toaster, kettle, cutlery, mixing bowls, shredder, a sandwich pressall the cooking items you can think of.

Find the full list on the website or donate cash and we’ll buy it as locally as possible – 100% of money received will be spent on the donation.

Thank you!

The GIVIT Gold Coast Appeal’s Independent Distribution Committee has released a second round of funds in time for Christmas.

The appeal has raised more than $400,000 with Dreamworld pledging a further $157,225 from the proceeds of its “Open Doors, Open Hearts” weekend to Red Cross, which will also be distributed by the independent committee.

The committee will once again prioritise the needs of the families who lost loved ones in the tragedy at Dreamworld.

Chair of the GIVIT Gold Coast Appeal’s Independent Distribution Committee, Catherine O’Sullivan, said this Christmas would be especially tough on those families.

“Everyone on the committee feels nothing but sympathy for the families of those who lost their lives in the incident at Dreamworld in October,” said Ms O’Sullivan. “The committee acted quickly to release a portion of the funds to meet their immediate and emergent needs in the weeks following the tragedy.

“We know that those needs will continue and that Christmas will be a particularly difficult time of year for those who have lost loved ones.

“This second release will mean that nearly all of the funds received to date have been distributed with more funds on the way from the reopening weekend.”

CEO and Founder of GIVIT, Juliette Wright, said there is still time for people to make a donation before the appeal draws to a close.

“I want to thank everyone who got behind this appeal and in particular the business community on the Gold Coast,” Mrs Wright said. “Our hearts go out to the families of those who lost their lives at Dreamworld.”

“To have raised so much money in such a short space of time and with more funds on the way as a result of Dreamworld’s reopening weekend is extraordinary.

“100% of the funds received by this appeal will be directed to those who need it most via the Independent Distribution Committee established last month.

“If anyone else would like to donate please go to or walk into any Westpac branch and ask to donate to “GIVIT’s Gold Coast Appeal.”

The GIVIT Gold Coast Appeal is expected to close on December 21 2016 with a final distribution of funds in January 2017.

For further enquiries contact GIVIT’s Media Advisor, Ash Moore on

At GIVIT we are really driven and motivated by each time a donation is connected – that moment when we match someone’s generosity with genuine need. In January we decided to harness this motivation and create a target… something to aim towards.

We thought it should be a big hairy audacious goal of matching 1,000,000 donations, and supporting (for free) 3000 charities by 2018.

We have had so many donations go through GIVIT’s website, but we also do so, so, so much behind the scenes to manage large corporate donations. For instance, 30 pallets of items were donated by Target this year and we’ve matched every single one.

Wonderfully, we have now facilitated 333,333 donations and have just hit the third way mark in our goal. We are one-third of the way to 1 million donations, and one-third of the way to our goal of changing 1 million lives of vulnerable, marginalised and impoverished Australians!

We also currently support 1280 charities!

To be a third of the way towards our goal is so wonderful. I believe Australians are most generous people in the world. Thank you to everyone who has ever given through GIVIT.

Also, I think as a team this is such a great accomplishment. Every person who volunteers and works at GIVIT is just so focused on achieving our goal – and we are ON OUR WAY!!!!!!! What a rewarding way to end another great year!!!!!

Juliette x


GIVIT is helping the communities of Yarloop and Cookernup with a special Christmas celebration this year and is calling for help from the Western Australian community.

GIVIT, a website which connects charities and service providers with donations from the general public, is currently seeking donations of Christmas decorations for a special celebration in Yarloop

The party, taking place next month – almost a year on from fires which devastated the South-West community – is planned to be a happy occasion and an opportunity to thank all the volunteers who have assisted the town since the January fires.

Julie-Ann McMiles, Manager of the Yarloop Community Resource Centre said the fire destroyed all of their festive decorations.

“Unfortunately last January the fire that destroyed our town, also destroyed all our celebratory decorations held in the community resource centre. We want to make this event extra special by decorating the Cookernup Hall, the venue for the celebrations,” she said.

Ms McMiles said each year the Community Resource Centre hosts a special thank a volunteer Christmas Party, but this year they are not only starting from scratch but are also hosting a bigger event to acknowledge the enormous volunteer efforts over the last 11 months.

“We would normally hold it in Yarloop at the Railway Workshops, but we obviously lost those in the fires. We also lost our own building, the resource centre, which housed all of our decorations.

“We are expecting bigger numbers this year as we have invited not only the volunteers from the larger organisations, like our local firies, but also everyone who helped after the fires – from those who cooked food to people who carted water,” she said.

GIVIT has launched in WA this year and the organisation’s State Manager Anna Presser hopes to see it get off to a flying start helping in Yarloop.

“It’s such a simple concept – almost like a free Gumtree. Charities can simply login to GIVIT’s website, make a request for practical essential items they need and then we call for members of the public to log on and see what they can provide.

“Likewise, members of the public who have good quality unwanted items that they wish to donate to charity can upload them online in our ‘virtual warehouse’ for charities to browse and pick up for their clients in need.”

Ms Presser said GIVIT is very much aimed at being the “charity for charities” and that GIVIT could be likened to a “free, charitable Gumtree.”

“So many people want to be able to give to those in need, or have great quality items at home they no longer require but want to see go to a good home.

“GIVIT bridges that gap between charities and people who wish to give and helps make it really easy for both parties,” she said.

Ms McMiles said their special Christmas Celebrations were being hosted on Thursday December 8, and they were seeking donations of purple and silver Christmas decorations to help make it something very special for the community and tireless volunteers.

“We have had a really tough year and Christmas is about bringing a bit of joy which is what we hope to do with this event,” she said.

More than 80 volunteers are expected to attend the Christmas Celebration. Donations to the centre can be made by logging into, clicking on ‘Donate Items’ then searching for ‘Yarloop’.

For more information or interviews please contact Lorelei Campbell on


It’s unbelievable how vulnerable children are in Australia. One in six children living in poverty has always been a shameful statistic, but also is the number of kids in care.

We know that 8,000 children in Queensland live in care. Those carers providing a temporary and loving family to our most vulnerable children do such a wonderful job and give the children gifts, but, we can all do more to support them this Christmas.

The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disabilities has asked us to source 8,000 gifts to give to those Kids in Care who are in need. I was overwhelmed by the number, and I still am. I’m mostly sad about the number of babies, and equally sad that it is hard to find toys for the teens. We need to support these children by adding an extra something special for them under the tree.

Can you imagine you or your children living in another person’s home this season? Some kids are happy, but some are desperately missing their own families. We know, we truly know because charities tell us so, that donations of gifts and toys make a massive difference to each and every child. These simple gifts make the children feel loved, special and cared for. Receiving presents at Christmas could be the most wonderful experience for these children.

Our Kids in Care gift drive offers a wonderful opportunity to connect to these vulnerable kids and help brighten their day. We need 8,000 gifts for our children in care, in regions right across the state. If you’d like to donate, you can give items via the GIVIT Kids website, or donate money to buy items locally.

Thank you,


Queenslanders are being encouraged to brighten the festive season for children living in out-of-home care by donating a present to the Kids in Care Christmas gift drive.

Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman kicked off the drive on November 14, which aims to see a present donated for every child and young person in care, from newborns to children aged 17.

“We are asking Queenslanders to show their support for kids in care and purchase an extra gift when they are out Christmas shopping,” she said.

“We all know it takes a village to raise a child, and this is absolutely the case for children who are unable to live with their families.

“The Kids in Care Christmas gift drive is the perfect way for Queenslanders to play their part in supporting our kids, by donating a gift for a child or young people who is unable to live with their own family this Christmas.

“These gifts from the community are a way for everyone to support our kids in care, as well as their carers who do a wonderful job all year round.”

Ms Fentiman called on schools and the business community to get involved and throw their support behind the gift drive.

“It would be wonderful to see schools and businesses across Queensland get behind our kids in care by encouraging donations and collecting gifts,” she said.

“With more than 8000 children in care we need plenty of gifts that will go right around the state to reach children.

“I urge all Queenslanders to get into the Christmas spirit, show your support and give generously to this drive.”

The gift drive is being coordinated by the Palaszczuk Government in partnership with GIVIT.

Road Boss Rally Cars will also work with GIVIT to collect and deliver gifts to various locations across Queensland.

GIVIT CEO Juliette Wright said gifts should be suited to a broad range of children and teenagers in care.

“We are honoured to be working in partnership with the Queensland Government to help source gifts for our children in care this Christmas,” Ms Wright said.

“GIVIT is a national not-for-profit connecting those who have with those in need.

“Through our website essential items are donated every day by generous Queenslanders wanting to help others in need.

“This Christmas you can help bring a smile to a child in care, all you need to do is give a gift via our website or donate funds towards purchasing them.”

Suitable presents are items to the value of about $20, like toys, gift cards, sporting equipment, board games, clothes and books.

For more information, including donation points and gift ideas visit GIVIT’s website.

The independent committee managing the distribution of funds raised by GIVIT’s Gold Coast Appeal has met and decided to release money immediately.

The first payment made through the GIVIT Gold Coast Appeal Independent Distribution Committee is aimed to provide relief to the immediate and emergent needs of the families of those who lost their lives at Dreamworld.

Committee chair, Catherine O’Sullivan, said the generosity of Australians in both the public and private sectors has been astounding.

“The appeal has already received in excess of $200,000 and more has been pledged,” Ms O’Sullivan said.

“We know that after heartbreaking incidents like the one that happened at Dreamworld, there is an outpouring of generosity from those who want to give.

“I can confirm that the intent of this committee is to distribute 100% of the money received by the GIVIT Gold Coast Appeal to the families of those directly impacted by the Dreamworld tragedy.

“It’s vitally important that people who donate know that this committee is independent and is acting quickly to make sure funds are available to meet any immediate and emergent needs that these families may have.”

Those who wish to donate are urged to go to or head into any Westpac branch and say they want to give to “GIVIT’s Gold Coast Appeal”.

GIVIT was approached by the City of Gold Coast to be the platform for the appeal, after an interagency meeting including Queensland Health and Red Cross determined a need for a public appeal.

Five people make up the Independent Distribution Committee:

– Catherine O’Sullivan, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Pathways and partnerships, Bond University
– Brooke Denholder, City of Gold Coast
– Leisa Bourne, Director, Red Cross, Queensland
– Rob Borbidge, Former Queensland Premier
– Greg Goebel, Chairman of the Board at GIVIT

Catherine O’Sullivan is the committee chair and sole spokesperson on behalf of the committee.

The Independent Distribution Committee will distribute 100% of the funds received by the GIVIT Gold Coast Appeal to those directly impacted by the tragedy at Dreamworld.

GIVIT will not charge any administration fee or other costs relating to funds received through its Gold Coast Appeal.
Red Cross is not running an appeal or collecting other funds for the tragic incident.

Dreamworld has announced it will be donating proceeds from its proposed public Memorial Day to Australian Red Cross. Ardent’s CEO will also be donating $167,500. Red Cross has confirmed 100% of these funds will be used to provide assistance to people affected.

The funds donated to Red Cross by Dreamworld / Ardent and those raised through the GIVIT Appeal will all be distributed through the Independent Distribution Committee.

For further enquiries contact GIVIT’s Media Advisor, Ash Moore on

An Independent Appeal Distribution Committee is currently being established to manage funds received through the official Gold Coast Appeal to support the families who lost loved ones during the Dreamworld tragedy.

GIVIT, on behalf of City of Gold Coast, is collecting funds for the official Gold Coast Appeal through its website

GIVIT, a national not for profit, is funded by the Queensland Government to manage donations and services in times of disaster. Therefore GIVIT has not, and will not, charge any administration fees or claim costs associated with the management of the Appeal.

How are funds being distributed?

The funds are being distributed on the advice and guidance of an Independent Appeal Distribution Committee currently being established.

This committee will be led by an independent chair, Bond University Pro Vice Chancellor, Catherine O’Sullivan, to oversee a fair, timely and effective distribution of funds. The committee will also consist of local organisations, council and experts including; City of Gold Coast, Australian Red Cross, GIVIT and other Gold Coast representatives.

100% of all funds received by GIVIT through the Appeal will be directed to support the families affected by the Dreamworld tragedy.

The committee will prioritise immediate support for the families of the four people who were tragically killed and two children injured. The committee is aware families have immediate needs and is meeting as soon as possible to work towards an initial distribution to meet those needs.

More than $101,900 has been pledged to GIVIT’s official Gold Coast Appeal, thanks largely to $100,000 pledged by 10 businesses and organisations on the Gold Coast.

Dreamworld has announced it will be donating proceeds from its proposed public Memorial Day to Australian Red Cross. Ardent Leisure’s CEO will also be donating $167,500 through the Memorial Day.

Red Cross, which is not running an appeal or collecting other funds for the tragic incident, has confirmed 100% of the funds received via Dreamworld will be used to provide assistance to people affected. These funds will be distributed through the Independent Appeal Distribution Committee with priority given to the families directly impacted.

Donations can still be made via GIVIT’s website,, or people can donate via any local Westpac branch in person by requesting to make a donation to ‘GIVIT’s Gold Coast Appeal’.

GIVIT is looking forward to working with the Gold Coast community to support the long term recovery of those severely impacted by this tragic event.

For more information or interviews please contact Ash Moore, GIVIT’s Media Advisor on

Australians wanting to assist people affected by the tragedy at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast by donating funds, are being urged to go to

Working with a range of partner and government organisations, Australian charity GIVIT is managing donations to assist after this terrible incident.

GIVIT CEO, Juliette Wright, said GIVIT’s website is an easy, quick and effective way of donating directly to those in need.

“News of this tragic incident shocked everyone at GIVIT just as it shocked Australians all over the country,” Mrs Wright said. “We are working with a range of partners to manage donations following this tragedy on their behalf using our website

“We know from past events Australians are incredibly generous and want to help the families who have been left devastated. GIVIT channels this generosity and lets people know exactly what is required so front line services aren’t inundated by donations they don’t need.

“After the explosion at the Serves You Right Café in Ravenshoe, GIVIT facilitated the donation of more than $800,000 in funds.

“The online platform removes the administrative and financial burden for councils and charities as well saving valuable resources for critical activities.

People can give money via GIVIT’S website of which 100% will go directly to those affected.

Mrs Wright said GIVIT has a proven record of being easy to use, efficient and most importantly effective following incidents such as this.

“GIVIT’s online platform has facilitated more than 327,000 donations and supports more than 1,200 trusted Australian charities by ensuring they have the exact items their clients need to recover.

To pledge your donation please visit

For more information or interviews please contact Ash Moore, GIVIT’s Media Advisor, on

About two years ago, for my own mental health, I decided rather than researching causes of poverty to research ways to make a meaningful difference through GIVIT and GIVIT Kids.

I have dedicated years to this.

Then just last week, our volunteer Kirsty, sent me the latest ACOSS statistics about children living in poverty in Australia, and it shocked me to my core. On our shift, this year 2016, we are finding more and more children falling into the poverty cycle.

The ACOSS report states that now, 17.4% of all children in Australia are living in poverty, which is by the international standards, not the lucky country standards. This is an increase of two percentage points over the past 10 years, from 2004-2014.

This two percent is a massive and horrific issue.

This two percent points is nearly criminal. These children do not have the basic essentials and they are suffering. They don’t have enough food, educational or personal care items and this affects their growth and ability to thrive and strive. They lack simple things, things that surround me now as I am writing this.

My usual depression kicks in when I talk about this topic. I wish for many things to change; the cost of living, the mental and physical health, as well as the well being of a family unit, but the facts are – we have Australian children who are starving. I get so sad thinking of all the charities we work with who are not spinning in the mud, they are working so bloody hard to help these families and yet we are slipping deeply into a very dark place for our nation.

At an event last night, I sat beside a school teacher who said she frequently buys her students items. She recently bought a boy some pants, and frequently gives her own money to buy food for students. She has to feed one little girl every day because her father does not feed her.

I am now renewed in my passion to ensure every Australian school signs up and registers to receive items through GIVIT and GIVIT Kids. They are on the front-line, seeing our children every day, every week, and have their eyes on the children in most urgent need.

Please forward this blog to any teacher you know and get them to sign up. They seriously fit our criteria, and can register to receive any needed item. Our teachers, all of our teachers, now work directly with children who are impoverished, marginalised, and very vulnerable.