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Willoughby Living

Hey Willoughby Living, Can you Pass it On?

July 25, 2020

There’s an initiative in the local area that has been achieving amazing results – and all you have to do to help is clean out your wardrobe! Here, founder of Pass It On Clothing & Co, Chris Vagg tells us more…

“Pass it on Clothing & Co. is a social enterprise based in Lavender Bay that currently operates three weekly outreach services in Sydney City, Parramatta and Gosford alongside a monthly service in Arncliffe, a total of 13 per month.

We take the clothing, shoes and accessories that you’ve donated and give them directly to those in need at a clothing station we set up. People can visit and select new clothing and co-founder Olga Puga (a fashion stylist by trade) can offer her advice and compassion when choosing pieces.

 

We began Pass It On after Olga had a cull of my wardrobe. After researching traditional charity models we realised the majority of donated clothing does not go to the homeless community, and we wanted to set up a direct method of giving. I used to work in stats for the NRL and with Olga’s job as a stylist this was a bit of a departure, but Olga’s experience has proven invaluable. We wanted to do something that had an immediate impact. We can have donations on the backs of those needing them most, within hours.

We’ve now passed on over 87,000 pieces in three years and passed on over 40,000 in 2019 alone. The need we cater to is growing rapidly. We have drop-off points that are north, south, east and west of greater Sydney that are all serviced by public transport for our homeless/disadvantaged friends to access easily.

We’ve both learned so much since we started Pass It on Clothing. Everybody has a story. Everyone is important and there’s absolutely no difference between those who are homeless and those who are not, except for the fact that those with housing have a safe place to rest at night.

A normal day for us means getting up early, doing social media marketing, new client meetings, clothes sorting, support for those we’ve got into employment and those in our system and then outreach at night. We’ve set up donation boxes in many businesses across the city for an easy way for people to bring in good quality donations.

With Olga’s background, she has a real ability to connect with people through the clothing we have available for our homeless friends to choose from. It’s a gateway to building trust, which is the most important part of being effective in this space.

We plan to continue to provide outreach services in the future, which is particularly important during winter. We’ll continue to receive donations through the boxes that we place in businesses and we’re currently running a gofundme campaign https://au.gofundme.com/f/10-dollar-trev  to raise funds for a new ute to help deliver clothing to our outreach sessions. While there is still homelessness there is still work for us to do.”

For more information or to make a donation, see https://www.facebook.com/passitonclothing/

Story: Lucie Rolls

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