This winter has been colder and more horrible than some that we’ve had for a while. By early July, our friends on the street were already counting down the days till we reach the middle of winter – “the sooner we get to the middle of winter, the sooner winter will pass.”
To battle the cold this year, we distributed 1800 blankets across our beneficiaries who include:
- 300 Blankets Outreach Program
- Urban Seed
- Royal District Nursing Service – Homeless Peoples Program
- UnitingCare Harrison
- Launch Housing
- St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria – Soup Vans
- Bethel Community Church
We are proud to be able to support so many wonderful community initiatives that help distribute and spread the warmth of our blankets throughout Victoria. By being a stable blankets donor, our beneficiaries can put their focus and resources into other areas of their organisations to better serve people in our community.
One thing we keep reminding ourselves is that the warmth of blankets only goes so far. We need to spread the warmth that only comes from compassion. Over the course of the three winter months, our Outreach Program invited 106 volunteers across 13 nights. The 300 Blankets Outreach Program provides an opportunity to expose the value of direct volunteering to the greater Melbourne community. The program has created invaluable connections with people sleeping rough in the city. Our engagement enables us to provide people with necessities such as blankets, basic food, toiletries, and most importantly, a simple human connection. We are thankful for everyone who applies to volunteer in our Outreach Program.
This winter we further developed our partnerships in the Outreach Program and are now working with the following communities:
- Ivanhoe Grammar School
- Crepes For Change
- Brotherhood of St Lawrence
We are proud of the impact our outreach program has been able to achieve in the community through both the people we assist and the volunteers involved. Inspiration from a simple encounter has sparked ideas such as a recent sock drive that delivered warm socks to the feet of 30 people sleeping rough. It is through working together as a community that we can make a difference.
On the 30th of August, one of our friends happily exclaimed that “winter ends tomorrow”! It was just as important to have someone to spend time to listen to him, as the end of winter.