Today on Hop into Health, I interview Karleen Harrington from Save the Children Australia and Carole Becker a long time friend and most amazing soul.
** The following is the gist of the interview. Podcast here. The blog is my words, not transcript. **
Q: Karleen and Carole, tell us more about yourselves and how you came to be involved with giving.
A : Karls: I found at an early age, I experienced immeasurable rewards by being involved with children initiated charity drives, such as World Vision, Jump for Heart, but really was drawn in after Haiti disaster and now work as state manager for fund raising for Save the Children Australia.
Carole: I am a nurse and have always given. I have found that people down the street have needs and it’s simply a matter of making yourself available and saying Ï care”.
Carole is a nurse and works in Emergency and is fantastic on her feet! She is the linch pin for many lives, including her own children, husband, church work mates. I know how loved Carole is and she is an every day mum doing what she can with little money but a huge HEART!
Q: What are some honorable and good organisations?
A: I (Sam) researched these and encourage others to do the same before supporting an organisation. People can generate empathy but is their intent right, are they delivering what they are saying, do you agree with their values as an organisation. These are ones I support: Save the Children, Medicine Sans Frontiers, Bravehearts and ones I support directly : Mercy House Orphanage Thailand, and other crisis reliefs efforts. Here is more info.
Karls: Save (TC) help over 100 Million children in 120 countries! The focus is on children and ensuring basic needs: education, emergency relief, preventable diseases etc.
The organisation works in Australia and also internationally. 12% of Australians still live below the poverty line and many indigenous are disadvantaged in remote areas so we have a presence there.
Q: What projects have you specifically done and what did you get out of it?
Karls: Urban Decent with Save the Children was huge – 200 people a day raising $350, 000 so far. People have to raise $1000 and then can jump. It’s a life changing experience for a great cause.
And late last year, Karls went to Nepal with her father and Save the Children and helped to build a school in a remote tribe who hadn’t seen Western’s before. It was life changing!
Carole: Multiple emergency relief efforts including the Victorian Bush Fires 2009, Brisbane Floods 2011 and Bundberg floods 2012. All have been amazing experiences.
Sam: I have tried to Chip in where I can – lots over the years, donations from sales to Brave Hearts, directly helped an orphanage in Thailand buy land last year, Vic Bush Fires 2009, Brisbane floods etc… I have experienced an extended hand when I have been flat on the ground and I will always extend one back when I can.
Me (Sam) abseiling in Save the Children Australia Urban Descent in November 2012. Great FUN! Thank-you to everyone who supported me xx
Q: How can people get involved with charities?
K: They can become supporters, volunteers, do a fundraiser – just check out our website.
C: Anyone can give love! Time, energy, physical support and listening, buying goods and taking things to people, cooking food, offering shelter. There is so much that can be done with or without money.
Some pics from the Emergency Relief I set up in support of Vic Bush Fires in 2009. 2500 boxes shipped, 600 + volunteers. I set it up and handed over the reins to Carole (AKA mini me) who continued the efforts and eventually visited some of the people in the Marysville community which was majorly affected.
Here are some fabulous notes from Carole
Be the difference in someone’s day, today, anyone can do it, “Love is easy, it’s the easiest thing to do”.
John Wesley….”Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.”
That’s what Ive learnt, I can make a difference and so can you.
What kind of things can anyone do?
Direct giving of requested needs (ie clothes food etc)
Skills (baking, tradesmen, medical staff etc)
Give good quality goods to local op shops
Get involved in local community services, local churches, soup kitchens etc
Pay it forward programs (like Juice radios, tag your it program)
Random acts of kindness (paying for someones petrol, groceries etc)
Some groups I have been involved with and support (there are thousands find one your comfortable with), these are just suggestions.
An awesome team of ladies, who Ive been involved with since 2011. They are currently help domstic violence shelters and the homeless amongst others.
Donate new or good quality goods to this virtual warehouse. I used the Givit list after both 2011 and 2013 floods to source donations. Please if you do want to give goods to anyone, let then be new or near new.
Local community support agency based at Reedy Creek on the Gold Coast. Most recently I have been involved in sending aid and rebuilding teams to Bundaberg . Plus one care are sending a team to Bundaberg in June/July contact them to find out what sort of help they need. (Tradies and donations towards rebuilding would be high on their list)
The following three are groups I worked with in Bundaberg, the first two send disaster response teams around the world, rebuilding and empowering the locals, the third is a local Bundaberg group who worked together in their community to continue this work. These guys took us in, fed us gave us beds etc
http://www.billygraham.org/rrt_index.asp currently on the ground in Okalahoma
http://globalcare.com.au/?p=656 Continuing to help their local flood ravaged community and locals in need.
http://www.blazeaid.com/index.php Volunteers rebuilding fencing after disasters.
The back of Carole’s car on the way to deliver Christmas cheer in Fernvale, QLD after the floods.
A couple for my medical friends.
http://www.medrescue.com.au/#/disaster/4545951765 Join our disaster response database.
These are the beautiful children I support at the Mercy Orphanage in Thailand. For donations or to visit and help out visit here.
Thank-you so much ladies for coming in and inspiring us all. The podcast once more is here and I think you guys deserve a “like” because you are angels!