When the school holidays come around, the 98five office gets a little bit quieter as our announcers take some well deserved time off. Even though we miss the buzz as different team members fly in and out, it gives the rest of us some time to breathe and reflect on the term that rapidly whizzed past. It’s easy to name one of our favourite projects from term 3, our Heart for the Homeless Appeal.
Across July we collected sleeping bags and necessary items that are essential for rough sleepers and homeless people in Perth. In total, the 98five Family donated over 9,000 items! You can see a breakdown of the items and where they were distributed here. St Pat’s in Fremantle was of the organisations that received the donations.
A few weeks after delivered the donations we received this letter from St Pat’s CEO, Michael Piu.
We had to share it with you, because this success is just as much yours as it is ours.
Dear staff and listeners,
I am writing to thank you for the enormous collection of high quality sleeping bags, blankets, toiletries and other items donated to use during your Heart for the Homeless appeal. I think this was the largest number of items we have had donated to us from one appeal.
We all know 2020/21 has been a unique and tough period for many, if not all of us.
Australians have had to fave lengthy periods of isolation and uncertainty as the COVID-19 pandemic brought about significant changes to our lives. For our homeless population the impact has been even greater. Together the acute shortage of housing and a notable upsurge in anxiety and mental health issues those experiencing homelessness have really struggled this past year and a half.
Despite the various challenges, St Pat’s has remained open, supporting the most vulnerable in the community with food, support, housing and health care, as well as reaching out to new cohorts of people needing support in our community, in particular families, young people and older women.
Crucially we do not do this alone, Your help, your listeners help and the schools, business owners and community members who have also got involved in your appeal have enabled us to be able to meet some of the most pressing needs of people doing it tough.
Thank you for choosing to support us and being part of an amazing and humbling community response.
On behalf of our staff and volunteers we wish you all the best for the rest of 2021 and the year ahead.
Warm regards, Michael Piu, CEO St Pat’s
Even though the campaign officially ended in August, the donations didn’t stop then. Just last week we collected more items from OSHClub, an out of school care program who encouraged their students to generously contribute.
Thank you to everyone who was a part of this appeal. Every gift will impact the lives of the 9,000 West Aussies that are sleeping rough on any given night.
Heart for the Homeless – proudly supported by One Voice, Saint Pat’s, St Stephens School, Lynford, TitanFord and 98five. With special thanks to David Snell from One Agency North for his generous donation to help cover some of 98five’s costs associated with our Heart for the Homeless Appeal.