For all of us, it’s probably hard to remember a time before COVID. But back in January and February of this year, we were caught up in the Black Summer bushfires. One of the things that kept us going through those two terrifying months was the love and support we got from people all across Australia through #spendwiththem. Utterly blown away by the generosity of everyone who supported our fledgling business through the fires, we made a commitment back then to donate 10% of those sales to local bushfire recovery efforts.
Fast forward six months and we have finally found the right organisation to take the “good money” you spent with us during the fires and do even more amazing things with it.
We’ve donated a little over $5000 to South Coast Donation Logistics, otherwise known as SoCoDoLo.
Initially set up to rescue and store the huge quantities of donated goods coming into the region at the height of the fires, SoCoDoLo has gone on to develop a distribution network that is still connecting people in need to the donated goods they need. Entirely run by volunteers (and often in donated premises), SoCoDoLo has so far stored and distributed over $1M in donated goods, providing much needed clothing, white goods, toys, bedding and furniture to over 700 people across the region.
Not content to rest on their warehousing and distribution laurels, this team of tireless volunteers continues to contribute to the recovery efforts by partnering with interested businesses and other not-for profits to deliver help where it's needed. By taking this sort of community partnership approach, SoCoDoLo has been able to leverage cash and in-kind donations to maximise its ability to deliver tangible, real time support to folks in need.
Whether it’s getting a new chook pen and chooks to kids in Bemboka who lost their animals in the fire, or rolling out off-grid (i.e. solar powered) water solutions to families struggling to access clean water, we think these guys are the quiet achievers of the still massive bushfire recovery effort going on down here on the Far South Coast.
Most recently they’ve partnered with Lifeline to establish the SoCoDoLo Mental Health Hub, providing a dedicated space and free mental health support for people in the community still coming to terms with the impacts of the fires.
And with people still living in tents and caravans down here, the next objective for SoCoDoLo is to build four new houses across the Bega Valley and Eurobodalla Shires.
For us, SoCoDoLo embodies the best of what it is to be a community centred grassroots organisation capable of delivering immediate, meaningful support to people in need.
It reminds us of the importance of community and that, often, the best things happen quietly, behind the scenes and at a small scale. It also reminds us of our own role in our community and that perhaps, as 2020 grinds on, we’re all beginning to understand that sometimes the biggest thing we can do, for ourselves and each other, is to do the small things well.
SoCoDoLo knows that. So do those kids in Bemboka with the new chooks 😊.
Finally, if you’re a business or not for profit who can help with the recovery efforts but aren’t sure where to start, SoCoDoLo would love to hear from you - contact.
Alternatively, if you’d like to help SoCoDoLo with its GoFundMe appeal, you can do that here.