It was sheer frustration and a will to recycle good-as-new furniture rather than have it end up as landfill, which led to Rachel Samuel’s lightbulb moment.
“It all started with a couch,” Rachel said.
“We were moving house and had a couch in excellent condition that wouldn’t fit into our new place,” she said.
Rachel took to the phone, contacting charities in the hope of donating the couch to someone who needed furniture.
She was interested, in particular, in helping a family or person who had lost everything in the recent bushfires, but unfortunately, her intention was to no avail.
Realising this situation must be repeated in many homes where people redecorate, upgrade their household goods, and downsize their homes, Rachel asked herself, what to do with your stuff when it is too good to throw out.
Not one to sit on her hands, Rachel founded DonateDirect, a centralised free online platform that matches the household needs of disadvantaged community members with what people have to donate.
One part of the platform is accessed by charities looking for items for their clients, while the public can use the other side to list what they want to give away.
The concept and aims of the charity are as simple as their name.
Donate Direct does not store or stock items, therefore no need for warehousing.
Volunteers manage the online platform, while the donor or a subsidised courier service delivers the recipient’s goods.
Televisions are one of the most common requests.
“A typical scenario is when a single homeless person moves into accommodation, a TV is what keeps them company,” Rachel says.
“Microwaves are also popular; we recently had a request from an elderly man who wanted to be able to cook his meals easily,” she says.
“Washing machines mean no more trips to the laundromat.
“We are on the frontline dealing with homelessness and financially disadvantaged people and families.
“Donors tell us they like the feeling of their items being appreciated and loved while recipients say it makes a positive difference to their lives.”
Image: Mike from Pexels