I was lucky enough to interview two Brisbane women who share a passion for making the world a better place and contribute above and beyond what most of us do.
Juliette Wright is founder and CEO of Givit, a charity that matches people who have goods to give away with those in need. Givit was founded in 2009 and already has over 12,000 subscribers. The idea started when Juliette had brand new baby clothes to donate to a charity and found that no one wanted them. She was dumb-founded and started researching where she could take them. This uncovered a gap in the market for direct charitable giving. She created a system that allows anyone to see what items are needed by various charities – from furniture, art supplies, personal needs, kids toys to everything in between. The items are given directly to the charity that need them most and are then available to people in need of them. Givit primarily deals with frontline community service providers and has an authentication process in place to ensure the integrity of the system. They work with over 800 charities and have had over 72,000 items donated since its inception, with over 45,000 of these during natural disasters.
“I feel lucky to have such a great support network with dedicated volunteers and a supportive husband and family which makes a big difference in delivering a service to this level”, says Juliette.
Juliette is a ball of energy and she is exactly as she describes herself, “over-enthusiastic, obsessed, addicted to giving, passionate and sympathetic.” Her enthusiasm is contagious and her obvious passion for charity shines through. She makes you want to be a better person.
“I didn’t really feel the full impact of what Givit could do to help until the 2013 Bundaberg floods”, she says. Givit was instrumental in finding and supplying 20 families with new living spaces. For her, that was the turning point and drove her to do even more. Which is where her next big challenge, Givit Kids, comes in. If it is half as successful as Givit, then watch out world!
Tara Castle is another Brisbane woman who lives and breathes charity. Generosity is part of her DNA. For the past four years, Tara has worked as the senior consultant for Social Money Solutions, a boutique consultancy helping not-for-profit organisations with long term funding, sustainability, and delivery of their corporate social responsibility objectives.
Tara believes that charity and giving are addictive. “The best part of my job is being constantly inspired by amazing people who do so much for their communities on a daily basis. The hardest part is the emotional challenge – you have to put up some emotional blocks to protect yourself to a certain degree”, she explains.
Tara suggests there should be more collaboration between charities, “rather than people continuing to start new ones and diluting the work that an existing charity already does. The economic environment is tough and we all only have a certain amount of money to give so giving time or money is becoming a bigger commitment for many of us.”
Tara is an inspiration to women everywhere, doing so much to support charitable events, getting involved in her community and just making things happen.
Juliette and Tara have a huge amount of good karma stored up and if we could clone them, the world would be a happy and peaceful place!