On 27 June, a fire caused extensive damage to the Department of Human Services’ Goulburn Service Centre, as well as the adjoining St Vincent de Paul Society’s store.
While Centrelink and Medicare services were restored soon afterwards at a new location in Goulburn, Vinnies lost all of their winter stock in the blaze, and called on locals to donate much-needed items to begin restocking the store.
Department of Human Services staff from Southern NSW and Canberra responded by launching a donation drive to collect pre-loved blankets, jumpers, jackets, socks and gloves to help replace the stock destroyed in the fire.
Anne Douglass from the department’s Service Delivery team coordinated the collection, and said that the appeal for winter woollies has had a very positive response from staff, not only locally but interstate.
“Our department’s staff are really generous and more than willing to put their hand in their pocket – or their wardrobe! – for a good cause like this,” said Anne.
“Even our staff in Brisbane wanted to know how they could contribute.”
This Tuesday, Service Leader for Zone Southern NSW Barbara Causon handed over seven wheelie bins full of clothes and other winter essentials to Vinnies.
St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn CEO Paul Trezise said the organisation is extremely appreciative for the support of the Goulburn and Canberra communities following the fire.
“It’s wonderful that the Department of Human Services, our neighbours who were also affected by the fire, have rallied around to help us replenish our stock,” Mr Trezise said.
“We assist over 1,650 people in the Goulburn region each year, and winter is one of our busiest times.
“Thanks to these generous donations we hope to be able to re-open our store in a couple of weeks’ time and return to helping the Goulburn community.”