GIVIT CEO Sarah Tennant said Australians standing together in goodwill, kindness and a united approach to navigate the pandemic will be critical to support affected people and communities.
“As we saw through the outpouring of well-meaning generosity for bushfire-affected communities, unsolicited donated items create mountains of waste and headaches for charities that are forced to use limited finances and volunteers to sort, store or dispose of the donations,” said Tennant.
“That’s why we’re encouraging people to pledge now and actually exchange the item only when it’s needed in their local area. GIVIT’s online donation platform is a safe and practical way of donating to those most vulnerable and have been hardest hit by this public health emergency,” she said.
With negative economic impacts being felt across the country, Tenant said they will see a significant increase in people needing assistance over the coming weeks and months – including many who may never have found themselves in such a vulnerable position before.
At this stage, the immediate need for vulnerable Australians are toiletries, grocery vouchers and home-schooling items. Many are struggling due to panic buying, on top of the virus’ economic effect exacerbating existing hardships and challenges for disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.
The coordinated transfer of items are managed by the requesting charity, in keeping with their internal protocols and available capacity, ensuring the safety of their staff and the person in need receiving the item.
Tennant also stressed donated items need to be of high quality – “Goods you would proudly give to a family member or friend” – to best assist and respect the dignity of recipients.