The only thing worse than lockdown in a nice warm house is being stuck outside in the freezing cold with a shortage of resources. This is the reality for our homeless community in Victoria and New South Wales right now.
Gali Blacher and Maddy Jones, the co-founders of social enterprise The Good Box, are doing everything in their power to keep our homeless community warm and fed this lockdown.
“We make beautifully packaged gift boxes that are purchased by the public online and then handed to our homeless community. We currently have close to 1000 orders a week from our charity partners who require our winter box which is a box filled with wonderful winter items such as a hoodie, beanies, soup sachet and more. However, support always suffers during lockdown but homelessness doesn’t stop,” says The Good Box co-founder Gali Blacher.
“During lockdown, a lot of support services stop and we get non-stop phone calls from various organizations and charities for our boxes as they help keep our homeless community warm and remind them they matter! Each box has a personalized note inside the box to help instil dignity and brighten up the day of someone doing it tough,” says The Good Box co-founder Madelyn Jones.
The Good Box received a phone call from a woman in lockdown in Melbourne who was trying to find support for a man sleeping rough on the streets of Mooney Ponds with no warm clothing in the height of winter.
“The lady couldn’t receive any support for this man as it is lockdown but he was lonely and cold on the streets of Melbourne while everyone else was in their warm house,” says Blacher.
The Good Box connected the man to support services and organized for a winter box to be sent his way to help him receive the essentials he needs for winter and to help him receive a good meal.
The Good Box helps provide essential items needed to keep our homeless community warm as well as helping them feel connected and communicated with as the homeless community is incredibly isolated.
If The Good Box doesn’t receive more support, they won’t be able to fulfill the need of their charity partners. “We are inundated with requests right now to send through Winter Boxes and we just can’t keep up with the need. We really need further support from the community to help our friends in need,” says Jones.
By heading to thegoodbox.com.au you can donate a box for AUD $21.99 and it will be sent directly to someone experiencing homelessness in Australia. The Good Box distributes to over 30+ charity partners nationally including Orange Sky Australia, MCC Carenet, Bethany, Jewish House, Vinnies, Melbourne City Mission, Anglicare and more.