Volunteer Profile – Robin Dougherty
Why do I volunteer at Good360?
I retired from full time work eight years ago. I had worked for most of my adult life in Not for Profit organisations. First in the Public Relations area and then in Fundraising. All up, I worked in NFP jobs for close on 30 years. When I retired, I moved to Indonesia and immediately got back into the charity sector doing volunteer work.
I enjoyed working with the Bali Children Foundation which was founded by an Australian woman who has her own business in the garment industry. The work was rewarding; raising money to pay for scholarships for the very poor and disadvantaged children to attend schools. Most schools in Bali are not free after primary level. Many children, particularly the girls, did not attend school once they were about 13. If they did continue, most didn’t finish high school.
When I returned from Bali, I looked around for a new challenge. I wanted to use some of my expertise in helping the disadvantaged in Australia. There are over 60,000 registered charities in Australia. The majority are working hard and doing a great job but all of them depend on fundraising to keep up their work. Everywhere you look there is someone wanting money for a good cause. I felt there had to be something different. Another approach. I found one: Good360.
Good360’s founder, Alison Covington has found a different way of helping many charities to carry on their work without needing huge funds that they would normally have to raise money for. Let me tell you how she does it.
Alison has discovered many retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers often have goods that they can’t sell – they have over ordered, are end of season or many other reasons. In the past, these items would probably have been dumped in landfill. It was the most cost effective way to dispose of them. They are now finding their way to Good360’s warehouse.
Charities can register with Good360 and then order what they need from the Good360 website (https://good360.org.au/). It might be home wares to help some refugees resettle or disadvantaged locals that need clothes to rejoin the workforce. It could be nappies and toys for a daycare centre or a nursery. Stationery and sporting goods for schools. These are just a few of the uses of the goods that would otherwise go to landfill. Everything is brand new, often still in it’s original packaging.
Of course there is still a need for fundraising. There are freight charges to get the goods to their warehouse and to send the goods to the charities. There are costs for the infrastructure to run Good360. But there are a good number of volunteers who are helping out. I am happy to be one of them.