Written by Jessica Eng –
    =West Welcome Wagon

    West Welcome Wagon is well-known for supporting asylum seekers and refugees with material aid in Melbourne’s West. There are so many positive things about charity organisations like West Welcome Wagon. Not only do people in our community get the goods they need for their homes, but it also enables our community supporters to give their pre-loved items a new lease on life.

    As life changes, so do our needs and tastes. Then there are just times when we need to Marie Kondo our lives to bring some joy. Gone are the days of just putting something in the bin to go away in landfill. People are looking for ways to give away their pre-loved items more consciously to help our environment and live a more sustainable life.

    So, what makes donating to West Welcome Wagon so sustainable?

    West Welcome Wagon participates in pop up recycle days

    In recent years, pop up recycling days with councils have become more popular. These days allow for people to take all their items down to a designated venue where community members can donate their goods. From here, organisations like West Welcome Wagon sort through the items and ‘save’ any that can be rehomed. These have been successful as large white goods, clothing, toys, homewares and other electrical items have been saved from landfill. 

    Repurposing large amounts of material

    We ask our community members who have a keen interest for sewing, to assist us with creating ‘Santa sacks’ for our regular goods and especially our Christmas drive. This helps us to transport the presents that are gifted to the children of the asylum seekers and refugees we support. The bags are durable and made from material that is donated and saved from landfill. The bags are also reusable for the families for storage too. 

    Unique donation system

    For most of our donations, we ask that community members email our team at West Welcome Wagon first. This is to ensure that goods donated can be matched with the needs of the asylum seekers and refuges. West Welcome Wagon is strict with what we take to ensure our warehouse isn’t overflowing with goods we can’t rehome. This minimizes items that need to go to landfill, which saves a cost to our not-for-profit organisation.

    Donors are asked to ensure that the goods they are gifting are in clean and good condition to ensure that the next owner will love the items just as much. Donating to any charity organisation is a sustainable way to ensure your pre-loved items can find another home. 

    Reachout days

    Our wonderful volunteers arrange for Reachout days where we move personal items such as clothing, shoes and toys to a local venue from our warehouse. We invite asylum seekers and refugees that we support to attend, which gives people the chance to pick items for themselves. This helps to ensure that the donations are matched the best way possible, and they are more likely to be cherished by their new owners as they have picked the item themselves. 

    Have an item you would like to donate? Contact our donations team via email at

    Looking to join our team of volunteers? Contact us at

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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