Books flood East Geelong Hub for Donations in Kind fundraiser

November 27, 2021 BY

Rotary Club of Geelong member and Donations In Kind Geelong chair Frank Thompson standing in front of the estimated 5,000 books. Photo: VINNIE VAN OORSCHOT

A TEAM of 20 dedicated Rotarians and volunteers filled up Eastern Hub Geelong’s Hall with an estimated 5,000 books on Saturday to raise funds for one of its many charities.

The books, both hard and soft cover, were sold to local residents last weekend to help with shipping costs associated with Geelong Rotary’s Donations in Kind initiative.

The nationwide initiative sees items destined for landfill redirected to a local warehouse in North Geelong where they are then refurbished and sent to communities in need overseas via a shipping container.

Every capital city in Australia has a Donations in Kind base of operations. Geelong’s is one of only a few bases located outside a capital city.

The team responsible for setting up Saturday’s book sale in East Geelong.

Rotary Club of Geelong member and Donations in Kind Geelong chairperson Frank Thompson said the Geelong initiative has helped send a number of items overseas to those in need such as hospital beds, medical equipment and more, but funds need to be accumulated to facilitate this.

“Fundraisers like this help us to conduct a great community service,” Mr Thompson said.

“Donations in Kind creates a ‘Men’s Shed-type outlet’ for residents who head into retirement, and it creates opportunities where you can help hospitals and school children overseas.

“It is a great international service as well as a local community service.”

Each cent of money raised from the book sale last Saturday will go towards numerous shipping costs needed to send reconditioned items overseas.

“There are many expenditures that need to be accounted for. For every container we send, which we have to purchase most of the time now, costs about $4,500 to $5,000. On top of that, there are freight costs which add up to about $6,000 and transport costs as well.

“Real money is needed to get what we refurbish overseas.”

Before the refurbished items are sent to struggling communities in developing countries, the Donations in Kind team secures a reliable contact within these communities.

Sometimes it may be a fellow Rotarian, sometimes it is not, but they must be reliable and able to distribute the donations appropriately according to Mr Thompson.

Most recently, Mr Thompson and his team sent a shipping container full of hospital beds and equipment, school textbooks and chairs to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Geelong’s Donations in Kind base recycles an estimated 100 tonnes of landfill every year.

For more information on the efforts made by the Donations in Kind team head to the Rotary Club of Geelong’s Facebook page.