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Mental health benefits of giving with dignity

The lasting effects of connecting brand-new goods to Australians in need extend well past reduced financial pressures on struggling Australians. Since its establishment in 2015, Good360 Australia has prioritised connecting the right goods to the right people at the right time. Our members continuously speak to the mental health benefits of vulnerable people receiving brand-new goods for their dignity, self-respect and knowing that they are being looked after.

We live in a world of plenty, yet millions of people are in need every day. There is more than enough to go around. That’s why we work to get the donated goods where they can do the most good. There are approximately $2.5 billion in brand-new unsold goods wasted each year in Australia, so there is no reason why vulnerable people should be treated as second-class citizens and receive substandard second-hand goods when brand-new goods are going to landfill.

I have always found the benefits of supplying new goods, to people in need, has had a profound impact on their self worth and mental wellbeing. Vulnerable people, often in circumstances beyond their control, suffer increased levels of mental anguish and stress and in some cases, lower self belief. Supplying these people with new sheets or new clothes provides an immeasurable boost in their self esteem and self worth. Good360 allowed our charity to make these improvements in peoples lives when they felt the most vulnerable and at their lowest ebb. These changes I know were life changing.

Charles Alder, Founder BushED (former CEO of Rural Aid)

At Dignity, we support people who are experiencing homelessness and when we are able to provide our guests with something beautiful that is brand-new and just for them, there are often tears of joy. It can symbolise new beginnings and a fresh start. I remember one of our guests staying in our temporary accomodation saying, “receiving this gift tells me I’m worth something” and another guest saying, “I can’t remember the last time I pulled a tag off something new, it felt so good.”

Suzanne Hopman, CEO Dignity Homeless Services Australia

We have seen first-hand the mental trauma caused by gifting secondhand items to our farming families. I’ll never forget one of my farmers telling me that she was given a basket containing half-used shampoo and conditioner bottles and out-of-date foods. She said, “I know I can’t afford much at the moment, but the thought I was only worthy of their throw-outs sent me down an emotional rabbit hole for months.”

Being involved with sorting all the donated items to Chinchilla during the 2010/11 floods opened my mind to the nightmare it creates for communities. People who are already in trauma are now having to sort through secondhand goods, many of which actually need to be dumped. People mean well but the impact on the communities is detrimental. Room needs to be found to sort all the donations, volunteers found to sort them, utes need to be found to do dump runs, and hygiene needs to be considered. This is why we will only ever gift our families with new items.

Natasha Johnston, Founder & CEO Drought Angels

We also know that in this age of inequality when the cost of living is putting pressure on even more families than before that kids sometimes go without the necessities. That’s why we work hard to ensure we have a range of brand-new items available from basic clothes like socks and underwear through to hygiene kits for personal cleansing that help close some of these gaps. Bridging the digital divide is also a priority at Good360, and we are grateful to be partnered with technology providers including Optus to allow our members to provide kids living in disadvantage the opportunity to be digitally connected.

What a wonderful thing the donation of Data from Optus has been. This has been especially valuable for some of our senior students who need internet for the completion of classwork, homework and assessment tasks. This has relieved stress and anxiety around connectivity, data availability and economic stress for families. These students will be able to keep connected over the holiday break and reduce isolation and anxiety. Our students wish to thank Good360 and its donor partner Optus for their continued support of our school.

Kogarah High School

If you are a business and want to get involved in providing hope and dignity with brand-new goods to Australians in need, read about donating your goods here.

You can also read about the impact we have created with our network of donors and over 3,600 members here or read more incredible impact stories here.


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