The last few years have been a wild ride, to say the least. When we first wrote this list, we were in the midst of short-lived quarantine hobbies and toilet paper shortages – and while our TP situation is greatly improved, this Christmas we’re thinking about those who are having a rough go of it.
Here are just a few of the charities and community organisations around Perth that could use a helping hand.
The festive season isn’t always fun, and many people struggle with isolation, financial strain and other stresses that can be exacerbated by the holidays. Every year, Lifeline WA’s 24 hour support and suicide prevention services answers more and more calls from West Australians in crisis – last year, 80,694 people reached out for help, with crisis support services contacted every 30 seconds. This festive season has already seen record numbers of calls coming through, but your valuable donation can help prevent suicide and provide crisis support for someone in need.
If you or someone you know needs support, you can call 13 11 14, text 0477 13 11 14 or chat online via lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat.
Australia’s largest food relief organisation, Foodbank distributes to over 2600 charities nationally, in addition to providing students’ breakfasts at over 2000 schools across the country – that’s over 77 million meals a year. On any given day, over half a million Australian households struggle to put food on the table, but you can help fill the plate of a family in need this Christmas with a donation of food or funds.
Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees
This Perth-based independent organisation provides advocacy support, emergency relief, healthcare support and food security support to asylum seekers and refugees. As well as campaigning for the rights of asylum seekers, their food bank is essential to their clients with limited or no income – with that need only anticipated to increase over the coming weeks and months. Food donations are always needed, as well as household and personal items (think shampoo, deodorant, household cleaners etc). They also happily accept supermarket vouchers, and of course financial donations can easily be made on the CARAD website.
Community Food Hamper Project WA
The Community Food Hamper Project is a volunteer-run, local organisation that supplies halal food donation boxes to Muslim and non-Muslim families in need – helping thousands of families each year who struggle with food security. With increased pressure on already stretched supplies, they’ve made an urgent plea for donations over the next week, either from a list of pre-approved non-perishable food items or financially. You can either drop off at one of several donation collection points around Perth, or with their team of volunteer donation collectors, you won’t even need to leave the house!
Helping women and children escape domestic and family violence, Starick provides refuge, transitional housing, advocacy and counselling services. With the increased risk factors associated with social isolation, support for these services are more important than ever. While some goods are accepted, the best way to support is financially, with $50 allowing the organisation to provide emergency provisions, toiletries and groceries for a woman in crisis.
Since 1996, Manna have been providing food services to some of the most vulnerable people in Perth. From its simple beginnings feeding a few homeless people in a park, it’s now grown into four food programs, with over 100 volunteers and 55 000 meals served per year. Their programs range from their soup kitchen, which runs five days a week in Northbridge, to their Manna Kids Enrichment Program, which provides learning support, food and care relief, and active and social care to disadvantaged kids around Perth, their Kids Breakfast Program in partnership with Foodbank, and their Food and Care Hamper Program. Relying on the generosity of the public, Manna will gladly accept donations of food and personal care items, as well as monetary donations directly to their Food and Care Hamper fund.
RUAH is an independent not-for-profit supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the community for over 60 years. Their programs provide help for people experiencing a whole range of issues, from homelessness, family and domestic violence, mental health challenges and legal advice and support. Help support West Australians doing it tough by making a monetary or in-kind donation, or get involved as a volunteer or with a corporate partnership.
While we may be through the thick of the pandemic, the healthcare system is still in crisis – and one thing you can do to help is donate blood, plasma, stem cells or breast milk. These precious donations can help save a life, from platelets going to cancer patients, plasma helping the immunocompromised or breast milk helping feed premature babies. Find out more info and how to donate on the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood website.
Foster a pet
Pets aren’t just for Christmas – but it’s always a good time to open your home to a new furry friend. If you’ve transitioned to more days working from home, it also removes some of the barriers associated with animal adoptions, allowing for pets to get extra monitoring as they get used to their new homes and any new animal siblings. With continuing high numbers of surrenders to organisations like the Cat Haven, Dogs’ Refuge Home, SAFE Perth and Greyhound Adoptions WA, we don’t want our four-legged friends left behind.
Cover photo: Foodbank WA