2013 took our mission in keeping our community warm to the wider community in Victoria. Engaging with our key beneficiaries – St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria, Hanover Welfare Services and now the Royal District Nursing Service – Homeless Peoples Program – 300 Blankets has now donated more than 3000 blankets to people at risk or experiencing homelessness throughout Victoria.
In 2013 we also invested more time developing our volunteering program and in the process have built a healthy relationship with the Vinnies Soup Vans and are part of the regular friendship program at Hanover. Following from a great second year, we are excited about the prospects of an even more impactful 2014.
We started the year off with an exciting new line up at our Music for Blankets fundraising event and then held our second Brains for Blankets trivia night. To add to our fundraising program, we held our first corporate event at Myer – Bake for Blankets, and our first time involved in community festival Spring Fling. Volunteer Alex ran for 300 Blankets at the Melbourne Marathon and we established a corporate relationship with the very supportive Terrain Tamer. The fundraising mix in 2013 resulted in raising and distributing 1346 blankets to people who need it most.
One of the most important functions of 300 Blankets is our volunteering program. In 2013 we reinforced our commitment to volunteering for the community through our commitment with the soup vans and community BBQ’s. In the past 12 months, we introduced the rewarding experience of volunteering for the community to over 30 individuals. Many have since dedicated at least one night a week to helping people experiencing homelessness, and all found the experience eye opening and incredibly rewarding. We acknowledge the importance of exposing the truth and human side of homelessness and will continue to involve more individuals to volunteering activities.
Through our fundraising and volunteering programs we strive to educate the greater Australian population to the realities of homelessness. In 2013 we were fortunate to have speakers such as Br. Doug – President of Soup Vans Victoria, to present at our events. We were also involved with a Melbourne University forum on Homelessness speaking with the founder of Second Bite to the next generation of leaders.
With a committed team and the generous and humbling support from the community, we are looking forward to the new year and the challenges that lies ahead as we pursue our mission on keeping our community warm.