Clothing Drive Saving Geelong Families From the Cold

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Photo: Olivia Reed

Vulnerable Geelong families will be warmer this winter thanks to generous donations to an annual community clothing drive.

This is the third year of the Clothing the Community drive, which encourages Geelong residents to donate clothing each July.

The Clothing the Community clothing drive is an Encompass Community Services initiative, in partnership with WorkSafe and 93.9 Bay FM.  

About 3500 kilograms of clothing was donated to the clothing drive last year, clothing up to 75 families per week, with the majority women and children fleeing domestic violence.

One in three women have been physically or sexually assaulted by someone known to them and one in four children are exposed to domestic violence in Australia, Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.

They also show domestic violence is the principal cause of homelessness for women and children in Australia.  

These women often leave their family home with little more than the clothes they are wearing.

Encompass Community Services’ Fritzie Punsalang said warm clothing such as jackets and coats were particularly in need for children, especially boys.

“In saying that, all clothing donations – for all shapes, ages and sizes – are welcome,” she said.

“They can be new, preloved, handmade, as long as they’re good quality clothing, local community members in need would have great use of them. 

“And the reason why we emphasize good quality clothing is so that they can be worn with pride and dignity; it helps with people’s confidence, especially when they go out in the community.”

Collection points were located at businesses in most Geelong suburbs, including Geelong CBD, Whittington, Bell Park, South Geelong, Breakwater and Leopold.

Ms Punsalang said it was still to be determined how many items of clothing had been donated this year.    

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