2014 Mid Winter Review

Allan Grey - Blankets

300 Blankets has entered into the third Australian winter with continued growth. The important expansion has enabled us to spread warmth to more people, and educate the broader community about the need for providing warmth to the growing number of people experiencing homelessness. As we grow, we are continuing to learn just how large and difficult the task is. But we know together, we will keep fighting to keep our community warm.

In the first six months of 2014 we have;

  • provided over 1800 new and rescued blankets to existing and new beneficiaries
  • completed over 2500 hours volunteering directly with people experiencing homelessness
  • held two successful fundraising events to boost blankets drive
  • participated in new community events and initiatives to expand our exposure to the broader community
  • expanded our interactions with educational institutions to educate, inspire, and expose the values and benefits of supporting the community
  • developed and strengthened relationships with new and existing partners
  • received a generous grant from StreetSmart to assist with operations
  • developing a sustainability program to promote recycling and rescuing blankets

Blankets

In the first half of 2014 we have distributed over 1800 blankets to people experiencing homelessness through our network of beneficiaries. Although a large portion of the blankets distributed were brand new, we worked with various organisations on special collections to receive rescued blankets. As part of our pilot sustainability program, rescued blankets will begin to play a larger role to achieve our mission. Our list of beneficiaries have grown this year to include St Vincent de Paul Society – Victoria, Hanover Welfare Services, Manna Inc., Royal District Nursing Service –  Homeless Persons Program, and Hearts For Homeless. We are thankful for charity initiatives who help distribute our blankets as they form the crucial step in helping spread warmth to people who need it most.

Volunteering

This year 300 Blankets volunteers have completed over 2500 hours so far of community work to help spread the warmth of friendship. We must never underestimate the importance of friendship especially for people who have lost so much. Friendships created can easily start from a volunteer giving a blanket to a person and just a simple chat about footy. It is so easy yet so important. We are continuing to look for more ways for volunteers to reach people through touch.

Message from Friend

Message from a friend

Fundraising Events

Fundraising events continues to be an important element from our calendar to drive funding to purchase blankets. This year we have held two annualised events – Music for Blankets and Brains for Blankets. The success of these events provided not only funding but are drivers to reach new potential supporters and donors.

In addition to fundraising events we participate in community events to bring awareness of the importance of warmth for people experiencing homelessness. Our most recent stall was featured at the Good Neighbour Month launch event which enabled our team to interact with like minded community groups and initiatives.

Partners

Building relationships with organisations across all industries is crucial for spreading awareness on the plight of people experiencing homelessness. Our good friends such as Terrain Tamer continues promote our cause and sell blankets at their shows, Myer continues to support our cause through the donation of products for fundraising purposes, and Bliss Media continues to provide 300 Blankets with online support.

To develop our sustainability program, we have developed a partnership with Novotel – Glen Waverley, to recycle by redistributing hotel quality sheets and pillow cases to crisis accommodations and boarding houses across Victoria. This program has benefited two crisis accommodations operated by Hanover Welfare Services, companions participating in the Compeer Program, and various boarding houses managed by the St Vincent de Paul Society – Victoria soup vans.

We have also built an important partnership with STREAT - a social enterprise with a mission to ending youth homelessness. With STREAT, so far we have been distributed 300 Pay It Forward coffee cards to people who could do with an extra hug inside and out.

Education and Research

In the last six months we have been involved with RMIT University, Victoria University and Camberwell South Primary School. Our engagements with the education institutes created opportunities for the 300 Blankets team to work with the next generation to teach about the importance of supporting the community. The underlying message reiterates a quote from Sydney Smith – “It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little. Do what you can.

The 300 Blankets team also participated in the City of Melbourne Street Count – a research initiative into homelessness.

In the next half of this year we plan to engage with more educational institutions as we see the potential to inspire and educate the future generation of leaders a critical step towards ending homelessness.

Future Projects

We have started planning for the future of 300 Blankets and how we can spread more warmth to our community through various initiatives. To achieve our plans we have started building new teams. In a community where our neighbors are becoming harder and harder to define yet ever more important to reach, we have ambitious plans to be the change we want to see in the world.

Thank You

The success of the first half of 2014 has been achieved through the generous support of volunteers. Operation funding has been greatly appreciated through a generous grant received from StreetSmart. The spread of warmth would not have been possible without your support. Thank you. Together we can keep our community warm.

Comments(4)

  1. Karen Castle says

    Warren and his team are awesome!!!
    Through 300 Blankets, Manna Inc. Perth was able to distribute 160 blankets to our homeless and less fortunate people here in WA.
    Special thanks to David from Linfox for bringing them across the Nullabor for us.
    What a wonderful initiative.
    Thank you!
    Karen Castle & Manna Inc. Perth team

  2. Sue-Lee says

    Gosh! To capture all the buzz of the life of 300 blankets must’ve been so rewarding! And to know that the best is yet to come is even more wonderful!

  3. 300 Blankets says

    Hi Karen and the Manna Inc. Perth Team,

    Thank you for your kind words. We are very happy to have been able to provide support for Manna Inc. You do an incredible job in reaching people in need and it was a great feeling to have everything fall into place. Keep up the great work!

    Regards,

    300 Blankets

  4. Warren Tu says

    Test Comment

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