It has been one year of the Heart and Home Project by The Run for Good Project! What started with a one-month community project, with the goal of filling 10 WAGEC women’s homes, has transformed into a year-long program for a line-up of Sydney based not for profit organisations.
Ren and Ben from The Run for Good Project came to WAGEC in March of last year and said they wanted to do a fundraiser, any fundraiser, they just wanted to get their community involved and aware of our organisation. Our annual Walk for WAGEC fundraising event had just been cancelled due to COVID-19 (it was meant to happen Mother’s Day weekend) and so The Run for Good team jumped on the idea of doing a fundraiser for Mother’s Day. This was The Run for Good’s first project with WAGEC, The Power of Petals, which was an enormous success and the beginning of our journey fundraising together.
Just a month later, The Run for Good team came back to WAGEC and said they wanted to do another project. They asked us: what do you need right now and how can we help fill a specific need? At the time we were struggling with furniture. Our donation program allowed for the community to donate furniture, which they did and still do generously, but we knew there were ways to streamline this process to help women get a majority of high quality items from one place.
They came back to us with The Heart and Home Project. A month-long project that called for their community and ours to donate new and used furniture to a central location so that a woman could curate her home and have it all delivered on one day. It straight away ticked all the boxes. Our clients were given the choice of what furniture they wanted, case managers were able to keep costs low, the donations were filtered, organised and stored and the community were able to get involved in a project that had tangible and immediate outcomes.
In the first month we knew the project was going to be a success. We had agreed on the original goal of filling 10 new homes with all the furniture a woman would need (this often meant everything from a brand-new fridge and washing machine to a bed, dining room table and drawers to all the smaller details like lamps, rugs, and bedding.) In the first month, thanks to the generosity of community and the incredible organisation of The Run for Good team, we had filled the homes of 40 women. Building on this success, The Run for Good team continued their efforts with a dedicated community donating and rallying behind them. In retrospect, the project and its main objective, to collect new and used furniture and give it a new home, fit perfectly within the next covid context. Throughout 2020, a lot of people and businesses moved house or premises and the project became a perfect opportunity to donate.
A year on, the project has taken new form with The Run for Good team developing partnerships with business across Sydney. While they still rely on the community to donate furniture, partnerships with businesses like Koala and The Guest Group allow for consistency of quality and quantity. In addition to working with businesses, the project works along side other not for profit organisations like Weave Youth, Wayside Chapel, Mission Beat, Bayside Women’s Shelter and Asylum Seekers Centre, whose support group are also in need of furniture.
WAGEC nonetheless remains the project’s biggest donor group and we couldn’t be more grateful. From our first meeting, The Run for Good team’s commitment and enthusiasm to fill specific needs, raise awareness of social issues and create change reverberated through our zoom screens. Like us, the team saw community fundraising as an opportunity to connect with others, to educate and raise awareness and to create important conversations about domestic and family violence, homelessness and systemic disadvantage.
Most recently, The Run for Good Project was one of our main sponsors for our Walk for WAGEC. The team have become a part of the WAGEC family. Thank you so much and happy one year to The Run for Good Project, we love working and creating social change with you.
To find out more about The Run for Good Project, click here!