MOVING house can be expensive but some people struggle to afford even a bed to sleep in or a table to eat at.
Vinnies Centres in the Ballarat area need community support to bolster furniture supplies in the face of declining donations and increasing demand.
Data gathered at the Victorian Vinnies Centres warehouse showed that donations generated through calls to the central donation hotline in September were down 14 per cent on the same time last year.
General manager of Vinnies Centres in Victoria Garry McBride said in tougher economic times people were inclined to keep furniture longer, which would explain why donations were down.
“While our donations are decreasing, we’re also facing increased demand for furniture in welfare support provided by the St Vincent de Paul Society. The two things combined have created this situation where we need to make a plea to the local community to help if they can,” he said.
Vinnies Alfredton centre manager Darren Phillips said it was a trend reflected in Ballarat.
“I think a lot of people who normally might have donated furniture to us, they’re keeping it for another year,” he said.
“There’s an increase in people asking for assistance.”
Mr Phillips said there were many reasons why people moved – such as family conflicts or looking for work.
He said with Christmas around the corner the need would only increase.
“If they’ve come from somewhere else and they haven’t got a bed, a lot of people just need something to sleep on,” he said.
Vinnies is calling on Ballarat residents to support them by donating any furniture that’s in good condition.
The rule of thumb is to ask the question: ‘Would I give this to a friend or relative to use?’
Donated goods are either used in local St Vincent de Paul Society welfare work or sold by Vinnies Centres, with profits used to fund the society’s work with people in need in the Ballarat community.
“The furniture we have for sale is reasonably priced and it’s in good condition,” Mr Phillips said.
Vinnies has stores in Daylesford, Wendouree, Alfredton, the Bridge Mall and Sebastopol.
Large items can be collected five days a week from as far away as Daylesford, Hepburn Springs, Beaufort and surrounding areas.
Anyone with good quality furniture to donate should call 1800 621 349.