GIVIT is an Australian non-profit organisation connecting those who have to those who need in a safe and private way. Their website lists items that are needed, who needs them and where they are located. Donors are then able to pledge to providing an item, and put in touch with a contact person to make arrangements for delivery of that item.
It was Christmas 2013 when I first discovered the site. At the time I was looking for new ways to express my love of the festive season whilst living with someone who had outlawed decorations, presents and christmas carols. Selecting, preparing and giving presents to others is one of my favourite festive traditions. I get a real kick out of finding the perfect item for someone. With a small family, a desire to give and a privileged position to do so; I sought places to donate presents.
Since then, I've made it a new tradition to log onto GIVIT at the start of November each year, find items, buy them, warp them, and ship them off. In the chaos of Christmas travel & wedding planning last year, I didn't manage to see through my tradition, so I decided to pick it up again this easter long weekend.
I thought I'd walk you all through the process so you can see just how easy it is to make someones day in a time of need when using GIVIT.
I usually gravitate towards giving children's items; be it clothing or toys. I had a wonderful childhood and I never went without, and I believe all kids should experience the same. However there are all kinds of items needed, from used furniture through to adult clothing. Even things as simple as basic health products. While some items will need to be brand new, many can be second hand and there are plenty of opportunities to donate household items you no longer require.
You can see what items are needed in your local area by browsing the listings here.
I usually look for items needed in WA to save on postage, but on this occasion there wasn't any. I pledged to donate toys and clothes to kids at Westmead Children's Hospital.
After making my pledge, I received an email putting me in touch with a social worker based at the hospital, who made contact with me via email within the hour. She provided me with the postage address for the items, and I was able to keep her updated on when they'd be sent.
From there, it was as simple as going out and finding the requested items (its surprisingly hard to find a higgle-piggle toy in Perth) and popping them in a HUGE postage box to their grateful new homes.
Later that week, I received an email from the social worker to let me know that the box had arrived and that there were some very happy kids on the ward that day. I can tell you, nothing makes me feel more content than knowing that!
If you'd like to get in the spirit of holiday giving but simply don't have the time to organise and source donations, I am expanding my tradition this year and running a christmas donation drive.
Donors can pledge to donate brand new toys or clothes that are needed by children all over Australia - and have the shopping, collection and postage done for them.
I will be sure to post more details on how to participate in the drive closer to the festive season, however if you'd like to know more or get involved please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org , and watch this space!