Share the load for a person living with homelessness
11 March 2019
New charity Orange Sky is calling on Kiwis to #sharetheload in March by funding a load of washing and a free shower for a person experiencing homelessness in Auckland.
The campaign is being kicked off tomorrow, on Tuesday 12 March.
Orange Sky launched in New Zealand last October, expanding from Australia where with a fleet of 28 vans containing mobile showers and laundry facilities, and 1,600 volunteers, they help wash more than eight tonnes of laundry per week – for free.
In their five months in New Zealand, around 4,700kgs of washing has been done for people experiencing homelessness in Auckland and nearly 600 showers have been taken, using Orange Sky’s free mobile van in 13 locations.
Orange Sky co-founders, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, who were named 2016 Young Australians of the Year for their work in establishing the organisation, are now asking for the help of New Zealanders to reach more of the 41,000 homeless people in New Zealand, (think enough people to fill almost every seat at Eden Park).
Orange Sky has started humbly with one truck and is now asking for a donation of $26 to pay for a wash and a shower for a homeless person, giving them the basic dignity that hygiene affords, and that most of us take for granted.
It is very sobering to think that one in 100 Kiwis are homeless. As well as the practical help, Orange Sky also provides friends on the street a place to feel safe and connected with a community while bringing an incredibly simple service to people who need it the most.
Integral to the service are six orange chairs. Orange Sky co-founder, Nic Marchesi explains: “Our six orange chairs are the most important part of our service. It’s where our friends who attend our shifts have the opportunity to sit and build relationships with volunteers through genuine and non-judgmental conversations.”
Orange Sky is also hoping to recruit 100 new volunteers. They are also asking people to share their experiences with homelessness or doing it tough, and to share Orange Sky content online and in the community.
Kiwis can donate a load of laundry and a shower by visiting www.orangesky.org.nz/donate.