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Published June 11th 2019
How we can help Canberrans doing it tough
Winter can be brutal in the Bush Capital. But whilst many of us have the comfort of warm homes, safe families, and hearty meals to look forward to during the long cold dark season, many Canberrans are not so fortunate.
For example, homelessness is the grim reality for the 1600 Canberrans who don't have a suitable home to return to on any given night according to the last census. And according to the latest ACT Council of Social Service report, over 25, 000 people in the ACT are experiencing food stress. That is, they are spending more than 30% of their household income on food compared to the 14% spent within the average household. The number of Canberrans experiencing food stress is very similar to the number of people living below the poverty line in the ACT.
How then can we help our fellow Canberrans struggling to make ends meet and doing it particularly tough this winter? Here are seven ways.
1. Vinnies Winter Appeal The St Vincent de Paul Society's 2019 winter appeal focusses especially on older Australians living in poverty. More and more older Australians are living in poverty. When they struggle to make ends meet, they often do it alone, without social support. You can help an older Australian by providing a hamper of groceries or supply warm winter clothing or help cover rent or a utility bill. For more information and to donate, go here.
2. St John's Care Winter Appeal St John's Care is a parish-based Anglican organisation working in partnership with Anglicare and a recognised emergency relief provider in the ACT region. This winter, St John's Care is calling for Canberrans to donate much-needed items for those in need, items such as fresh food, non-perishable food, warm clothing, bedding, and nappies and baby formula. If you can help, you can drop your items at St John's Care at 45 Constitution Ave, Reid or outside Woolworths at Majura Park Shopping Centre, or you can donate online here.
3. Roundabout Canberra Roundabout Canberra provides women and families experiencing hardship in Canberra and the surrounding regions with essential items and equipment to ensure the safety of their babies. The organization accepts donations of excellent quality baby and kids items. Items can be dropped off at the Sports Club Kaleen, 16 Georgina Cres, Kaleen during the following times only (please don't leave items unattended): Monday: 11am – 1pm, Tuesday: 6pm-8pm, Wednesday:12-2pm, Thursday: 7pm-9pm and Friday: 12-2pm. For a full list of acceptable items and for more information, please go here.
4. Rainbow Paws Winter Appeal Not only do humans do it tough this winter. Our furry friends do, too. The Rainbow Paws Program provides assistance to the animal companions of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, the isolated elderly, financially disadvantaged, individuals with mental health or physical issues, and people currently living in refuges. From 15th June to 15th July, Rainbow Paws is running their annual Winter Pet Food Appeal. This year, they are seeking donations of dry dog food, dry cat food, tinned dog food and tinned cat food. All food must be unopened and within date. All donations can be dropped off at PETstock Belconnen, PETstock Tuggeranong and PETstock Fyshwick. For more information, go here.
The RSPCA ACT also provides assistance to animals, helping them to be free from neglect or cruelty, and helping them to find long term, loving homes or go back into the wild where they belong. To donate and for more information, please go here.
6. Mission Australia Winter Appeal Mission Australia provides a wide range of services including homelessness and social housing support, early intervention and prevention programs for children and young people, financial support, and disability and inclusion support. You can support their 2019 Winter Appeal by donating here.
7. Anglicare Winter Appeal and Pantry Appeal Anglicare is a recognised emergency relief provider. You can donate online to the 2019 Winter Appeal here. Or get behind the Anglicare Pantry Appeal and donate essential items such as tinned food, toiletries, baby formula, nappies, school lunches and snacks, long life milk, cereal, and sugar. You can drop these items off at Anglicare centres at Holt, Gordon, St John's Care, Reid, and Queanbeyan. For more information, go here.
"You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."