West Welcome Wagon was established in September 2013 to help local asylum seekers. Having fled persecution and homeland conflict, the majority have absolutely nothing when we meet them. To accommodate their basic household needs, West Welcome Wagon seeks donated items such as clothing, furniture, whitegoods and non-perishable food from our thousands of supporters.
In the past three years, much has changed and West Welcome Wagon has grown rapidly:
- From one extraordinary person who helped one household, to us now supporting over 500 households from over 30 countries;
- From that one volunteer and a handful of others to over 200 volunteers. West Welcome Wagon is run by volunteers;
- From storing donated goods in our volunteers’ houses, to establishing our own warehouse.
It’s about that warehouse we’re asking for your support.
Our previous storage model was not sustainable. Our volunteers were having to give up bedrooms, garages and sheds to store all the wonderful donations we received from the community. And often it meant that we were turning down donations because we simply had nowhere to store them.
We have secured a warehouse in Sunshine West. It is our central hub for our volunteers to store, clean, manage and distribute all those donated goods that make houses homes for our asylum seekers. It means we are able to accept large donations such as a recent one from a hotel which provided us furniture and linen such as 36 king single beds, 55 bedside tables, 13 dining tables, 91 dining chairs, 8 bar fridges and mountains of linen, pillows and blankets. It’s wonderful to know we have warm blankets and beds to support asylum seekers this winter! Our warehouse is vital to our operations.
Now our challenge is to assure the continued operational management and sustainability of the warehouse. It’s a huge, but much needed commitment. Overall, our campaign aims to raise $30,000. This will provide an interim funding buffer whilst our long-term funding strategies for the warehouse are established.
So please donate now if you can and spread the word far and wide to help us keep our beloved home and continue supporting our asylum seeker neighbours because there are so many people who still need our help.