Sanitarium staff regularly volunteer at local charity Coast Shelter, one of the organisation’s long-standing community partners, supporting the most vulnerable in the community.
Coast Shelter’s Community Centre provides free meals and support services to help homeless, vulnerable, financially disadvantaged and socially isolated community members, who have often ended up needing help due to violence, family breakdown, financial difficulties or health issues.
Last financial year, the Community Centre provided 49,495 free meals to people who were experiencing homelessness or financial stress, as well as 1,315 food hampers made up of items such as Weet-Bix, So Good and other staples provided by the greater community.
On a quick calculation we are proud to say that Sanitarium has contributed well over 2,000 volunteer hours in support of the community through meal preparation and service supporting those in need.
CEO Rachel Willis said “We here at Coast Shelter are incredibly proud to be tackling homelessness and domestic and family violence with Sanitarium as our friend and supporter. Without you and your team we would not be able to do what we do and we thank you for helping us to support those doing it tough.”
Sanitarium has partnered with Coast Shelter since 2004, and during that time, Sanitarium has contributed over $240,000 towards the community centre’s activities, particularly meal services and food hampers, in addition to our staff regularly volunteering by helping in the kitchen.
Sanitarium’s volunteers help feed up to 80 people at a time, either using cooking supplies from the centre or providing cooked food they’ve sourced through fundraising efforts, heating it on the premises and serving it to the centre’s clients.
“Volunteering at Coast Shelter is a great opportunity to give back to the local community and help those doing it tough,” says Laura Augros, who coordinates Sanitarium’s six-weekly Sunday night shift at Coast Shelter. “As volunteers, we get a feeling of appreciation for what we have and are grateful we are able to help others.”
Logistics Department staff also volunteer at Coast Shelter and have been serving in the kitchen at lunchtime on the first Thursday of every month since 2013, sending four or five people based on a roster.
“Everyone who volunteers gets a lot from it, seeing how many families are struggling out there,” says Peta Pettit, coordinator of the Logistics team’s efforts. “So, our department is keen to make sure we keep supporting Coast Shelter on a regular basis.”
Sanitarium has recently been recognised as a Finalist for Excellence in Corporate Volunteering in the National Volunteer Week awards, thanks to the efforts and generosity of our staff in helping the local organisation.