A social enterprise startup that’s helping keep the homeless warm and fed during lockdowns needs more support to deal with growing demand.
Sydney-based Gali Blacher and Maddy Jones co-founded the social enterprise The Good Box as a simple way to assist people on the streets.
Working together in Sydney’s CBD, they saw the awkward interactions between people who wanted to help, but perhaps had doubts about whether simply handing over money was the solution. The Good Box is an idea they developed three years ago and is designed to start a conversation that can lead to better help for people who need it most.
The Good Box distributes to more than 30 charity partners nationally including Orange Sky Australia, MCC Carenet, Bethany, Jewish House, Vinnies, Melbourne City Mission, and Anglicare. They cost $21.99 each and contain food and warm clothing.
Blacher said that with Sydney and Melbourne now back in lockdown, demand for the boxes has skyrocketed.
“We currently have close on 1000 orders a week from our charity partners who require our winter box which is a box filled with wonderful winter items such as a hoodie, beanies, soup sachet and more,” she said.
“However, support always suffers during lockdown but homelessness doesn’t stop.”
As an example, she said they received a call on Friday from a woman in Melbourne trying to find support for a man sleeping rough in Mooney Ponds.
“The lady couldn’t receive any support for this man as it is lockdown but he was lonely and cold on the streets of Melbourne while everyone else was in their warm house,” she said
The Good Box connected the man to support services and organised for a winter box to be sent to him.
He co-founder Madelyn Jones said they’re receiving non-stop calls from organisations and charities for boxes, but needed more people to donate to meet that demand
“We are inundated with requests right now to send through winter boxes and we just can’t keep up with the need,” she said.
“We really need further support from the community to help our friends in need.”
Head to thegoodbox.com.au to donate a box for $21.99.