Christmas is a time of giving and being thankful. For most, it’s a time where families come together and enjoy a festive season full of gifts and delicious food. As lovely as this is, it is not however, the same for everyone. Every night more than 116,000* people are homeless in Australia and that number is growing alarmingly. In 2015, frustrated by the lack of dignity shown to people experiencing homelessness, social services veteran, Suzanne Hopman, decided to do something about it and developed a housing solution with a difference.
Dignity provides supported, temporary accommodation and longer-term stable housing to prevent homelessness through innovative programs, providing shelter, food and education across the country. The long-term vision is to end homelessness in Australia, one person at a time. Dignity aims to empower someone to end their homelessness within 14 days of them arriving at Dignity.
Swisstrade Supports Dignity
As a hospitality supplier, Swisstrade are in a unique position to offer support to Dignity and has been involved with the organisation for over 4 years. It all began with Swisstrade director Peter Weingartner’s daughters cooking weekly meals for Dignity through their school, Brigidine College in St Ives. The whole family helped out and through that connection, Swisstrade also became corporate supporter of the charity through his business.
Swisstrade supplies bedding, linen, textiles and toiletries, donating items at least 3 times per year or whenever the need arises. The most recent donation included quality bathroom amenities such as soaps, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion to help make up Dignity Care Packs in time for Christmas. The donation also included office supplies and hotel equipment such as laundry trolleys, ironing boards and small appliances.
“My whole team at Swisstrade are strong believers in giving back to the community and helping people in need. Since opening in 1997, we have supported local charities in one way or another and struck an ongoing relationship with Dignity because we love what the charity stands for. As they offer emergency crisis accommodation, it was a good fit for Swisstrade - we have the products that can help support them.”
Join Swisstrade in Support for DignityChristmas and New Year are tough times for many Australian families and as such, there is a peak in the demand for services at Dignity. Swisstrade is hoping to inspire individuals, clients, corporate partners and suppliers to get involved and help support the work of this worthy charity.
“If there’s one thing we’ve learnt since our work with Dignity began, it’s that you never know what circumstances you will end up in. It can happen to anyone, so we’d like to encourage everyone to reach out and support Dignity in their work – especially over Christmas and New Year,” said Peter.
Support can take many forms including:
- Follow collection drives and callouts for assistance on Dignity Facebook page
- Check out the Dignity SEEK volunteer page for opportunities
- Corporate volunteering – a fabulous team building opportunity
- School programs – education and activities
- Cooking and food preparation through the Dignity Dishes program
- Make a donation at dignity.org.au
- Fund a guest home as a sponsor for a year
- Organise your own event/luncheon to raise funds on behalf of Dignity
“We are all passionate about sustainability here at Swisstrade and we’d love to be able to do more work in this area,” said Peter. “I’m proud of my team and the work we’re doing together. We all feel privileged to be able to support Dignity in the amazing work that they are doing. We love being part of the solution to this ongoing and devastating problem.”
If you’re interested in supporting Dignity, contact them on 1300 332 334 or check out their website.
*ABS 2016 Census