Facilitated by national charity GIVIT, the donation will see every pair of socks distributed to people who are homeless or those who are at risk of becoming homeless via Vinnies’ various homelessness services.
“When people are experiencing homelessness, they put a lot of miles on their feet,” says Erin MacArthur, director of special works for Vinnies Canberra/Goulburn.
“Fresh, clean socks go a long way to keeping people warm, but also contribute to their overall health and wellbeing. We are always looking for new socks to provide to people who need them. It’s so amazing to get brand new items to give out, especially in the cold winter months.”
While socks are the most in-demand item coming into winter, Vinnies is also seeking donations of blankets, jackets and sleeping bags to distribute to those in need. Ms MacArthur says there is always an increase in demand for services and donations heading into winter; however, this year Vinnies is seeing a greater increase due to COVID-19.
“This is greater than usual – and there are further limitations as to what assistance is available to people,” she says, “there is an increased need for food, and that is across the country not just in Canberra.”
Ms MacArthur says there have been an increase of calls to the Street to Home program with concerns about people experiencing homelessness: “obviously these are very vulnerable people, who are unable to self-isolate or even access adequate hygiene facilities”.
“There was already a shortage of transitional and affordable accommodation options for people in Canberra, and this has exacerbated it,” she says.
GIVIT’s ACT and South East NSW regional manager, Caroline Odgers, said a “turbulent” start to 2020 means the charity is seeing a surge in demand.
“Now more than ever, people who have fallen on tough times need our support,” she says.
“GIVIT is working with frontline charities to support fire and flood affected people in the Capital Region, and now with COVID-19 challenges and winter on our doorstop, we’re reliant on generous donor to meet the high need.”
To donate to Vinnies’ various programs and services, visit vinnies.org.au.
Visit givit.org.au/items-needed to see what items are needed in your local area.