“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito” Dalai Lama
Woodards Foundation was established to alleviate the negative impact of homelessness, family violence, drug and alcohol dependence and social isolation. From its inception, we have as a corporate leader in real estate, shown vision in upholding our charter and supporting philanthropic causes. We are a registered charity with Donor Gift Recipient status. Our corporate challenge for this year was how best to use our people, time, money and resources to support our corporate values for the most community benefit. A decision was made to purchase a house to be used as a private rental property. Our research told us that this was an area in which we could be of immediate and intergenerational value. The provision of this property with appropriate support would allow a family to build a rental history, and then move into the private rental market independently. Working in collaborative, creative and innovative ways we used our time and money, to think, involve and connect to our community and realise our objectives.
A property in St Albans has been purchased by the Woodards Foundation and this currently provides transitional housing for women who are homeless and for women and their accompanying children who are experiencing family violence. It is the only one of its kind. Each year they accommodate and support over 600 women and accompanying children who are homeless, most often as a result of family violence and chronic mental illness.
In partnership with McAuley Community services for Women, we recently housed another family. A generous landlord, with a vacant flat, loaned it to McAuley for 12 months. It needed to be furnished ASAP. We were able to assist by purchasing beds from Sealy and a new refrigerator, microwave and washing machine, at much reduced prices from Camberwell Electrics. Bed Bath and Table very kindly donated bedding and linen, towels, pillows and doonas. This was a family with a young baby in a desperate situation and because of our assistance and with the support of McAuley they are now able to be in a safe house, planning for a future.
Woodards Carlton, have built a partnership with The Wingate Avenue Community Food Welfare Program who work in conjunction with Foodbank Victoria and Second Bite providing a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables to the students involved in Wingate’s education classes and public housing tenants. An assessment of the program found that individuals receiving a benefit from on any given week range between 100 and 150 people. The team assist in unloading a van of donated delicacies from Foodbank Victoria and hand it out to those in need.
In addition through the hard work of staff at individual offices we have been able to offer support to charity groups and people in our local communities. One such initiative was the purchasing of a wonderful array of toys by the Woodards Camberwell office that were delivered to Caroline Chisholm Society to distribute to their clients. We imagine there were some bright eyes and excited squeals when the paper was torn and the gifts revealed! ‘Çoats for Kids’, the purchase of multiple sets of linen to assist families when setting up house, purchasing and donating, car loads of nappies, food hampers and more, are part of how our offices network and respond to areas of need.
Kids Under Cover’s Cubby House Challenge is currently underway and Woodards Foundation supported this great cause and fun event. Luke Banisiotis, Woodards Blackburn, was invited, as an award winning auctioneer, to market, promote and auction one of these architecturally designed and built cubbyhouses. He achieved an amazing result - $17,500.
Ashraf & Ali Hosseini
While being housed temporarily in student accommodation while applying for refugee status, Ashraf and Ali needed help. With no food or basic household items Julie Bisping a Partner of the business and property manager came to the rescue. After providing food from Foodbank Victoria through the Wingate Avenue Community Centre and donating the family is on its feet. A story with a happy ending, while being able to focus on her studies Ashraf just won a $10,000 scholarship after being named the 2015 International Student of the Year in Research!
Marco’s Gala Dinner
After a family tragedy hit one of our employee’s families it was with a heavy heart but great joy also that we are able to Sponsor Marco’s Gala Dinner Fundraiser in March 2016. Supporting the Glenroy Specialist School and raising awareness for Cerebral Palsy. The school supports communities and students physical, emotional and social development.
Unfortunately even those who work hard to build a life for their families have it taken away. After moving to Australia for a better life for just four months Thuy had her home robbed of everything she owned. Again with no food and a small child Thuy didn’t have many options. Cathy Moffatt from our Ascot Vale office was kind enough to support with household items, blankets and other essentials while the foundation committee gave $300 in vouchers and cash to support Thuy until she could support herself and her daughter. On a side note Thuy’s daughter is the cutest child you will ever see!
Along with the frivolity and team building that comes with all office Christmas Parties, Woodards gave back by building bikes, that were donated to families in need through our partnership with MCSW.