When Candice McGregor learned that apartment developers in South Yarra wanted to donate truckloads of furniture and whitegoods to her West Welcome Wagon charity organisation, she and her team sprang into action.
“Our warehouse space in Sunshine West is just 420 square metres and we knew we wouldn’t have room for it all, but we couldn’t turn an offer like that down,” Candice says.
The charity windfall – including fridges, beds and couches – was enough for 10 households.
“So we agreed to take it and we just made space for it. It was like putting together a giant puzzle,” Candice says.
It’s basics like these that can help set up new lives for the 500 households of asylum seekers from more than 30 countries supported by the charity group in Melbourne’s west. For Candice and her team, a $105,000 RACV Community Foundation grant has been just as vital a building block.
‘We believe can inspire everyone connected to these projects, whether you’re a volunteer, an organiser or someone who needs a helping hand.’
“The grant we received this year will allow us to expand our operations and build a mezzanine for easy access and allow us to bring stock in and out.”
West Welcome Wagon is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation that provides furniture, bedding, clothing, appliances, kitchenware and non-perishable food items to people who have arrived in the country with little more than the clothes they are wearing. Last year, RACV gave the charity $20,000 to buy a van to help collect and deliver donated goods.
The RACV Community Foundation was established in 1997 and is funded with the help of employee, member and community donations. In 2018 the foundation provided $734,000 to support 20 organisations working with some of Victoria’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged people. “They are grassroots organisations where people are working to help people, and all of them will have a lasting impact,” says RACV Community Foundation Chairman Graeme Chipp.
“We have provided funds to groups supporting mothers with post-natal depression, young people who are isolated, Indigenous education support groups and organisations supporting people with mobility concerns around public transport.