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Orange Sky has been a savior for Ros.. Orange Sky has been a savior for Ros..
28 September 2021 Posted by 

Workplace giving is vital: how Orange Sky changed the life of struggling Ros

GIVING | DALLAS SHERRINGHAM
ROS Price loves flowers and when she found herself homeless after an unfortunate series of events, she struggled to keep her floristry business afloat.
A decade ago, she was out on the street, moving from place to place and sleeping rough at night. But she always held out hope that it would all come good one day.
 
“In 2013, I became homeless,” Ros said. “Before this I was very secure with two children who were both about to finish school. Then when the marriage broke up and I was the odd one out.
 
“That was really hard because the children and I had been really close. We had to be close in the household, and so it was hard to not be there for important things.
 
“My daughter was in grade 12, so she was just finishing school. My son was at university. Then my daughter got married, and I wasn’t really part of her preparation, which as a mother, I should be.
 
“Sometimes you need to separate yourself to find out who you are. I guess I had to go through that as well.
 
“It was really hard, because to work out who I was I needed to get rid of all the negative influences over my life. I was growing differently and I wasn’t conforming to what people thought I was. So, a lot of people close to me thought I should be crazy because I was coming out of a bit of a mess.
 
“My son became engaged and he was married in December 2013. I wasn’t a part of it. I wasn’t even invited to the wedding, so it was a real separation. It was heartbreaking because these things are only a one-off opportunity.”
 
Ros then found a lifeline in Orange Sky, the charity that changes lives, and has been using its services on and off since 2013. 
 
She said Orange Sky’s services had been her personal lifeline through the years enabling her to have dry, clean clothes and access to warm hot showers when these basic human needs were hard to come by.
 
Ros continued to run her floristry business while she was homeless as it was her true passion, even though it wasn’t profitable and barely sustainable.
 
“Sometimes I had a place to stay, sometimes I didn’t - either way Orange Sky was there to support me.”
 
“Words can’t explain what it means to be able to get into a clean and dry sleeping bag when you settle down for the night.
 
Not only that, but to be able to have access to a warm shower and have your laundry completed within the hour is just such a valuable thing.”
 
Currently Ros is living in more stable conditions and doesn’t need to use Orange Sky services as much, but she still makes sure to visit them out on the streets to check in on how everyone is going.
 
Stereotypes aren’t always true
 
“One of the best things about the service is the consistency and the empathy that comes from the volunteers. We all look out for each other. We know when a face we normally see is absent so it’s important to keep checking everyone’s doing okay. At Orange Sky it’s all about the support, whatever form that comes in,” Ros said.
 
Her case perfectly illustrates homelessness is a complex issue and the stereotypes we have are not always true.
 
Orange Sky is committed to providing a life-changing services to people experiencing homelessness and doing it tough across Australia and the support from both individuals and corporate organisations makes a huge difference.
 
Workplace Giving is a growing initiative in Australia with a 23% increase of employers now offering payroll giving.
 
While 82% of Australians give to charities, almost half do so in response to a specific need or issue, rather than proactively.
 
With more than 200,000 employees donating $43M and employers matching donations, more than $66M was received by charities. 
 
Data on the age of donors shows that workplace giving appeals to all ages, with Millennials aged under 34 the largest group of workplace givers. The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2020 confirms that millennials prioritise purpose over profit.
 
Workplace Giving is particularly attractive to millennials due to the set-and-forget nature - having all the fiddly bits taken care of by a payroll team. It allows millennials to allocate whatever portion of their paycheck they’re comfortable with whether that be $10, $20 or $50 for example. 
 
Dee A’Bear is the state manager at REA Group for Queensland and the Northern Territory, and works with Orange Sky on REA Group’s corporate partnership.
 
“REA people love giving back to their community through our workplace giving program,” Ms A’Bear said.
 
A change of circumstance such as financial difficulties, family and domestic violence, housing affordability and availability, relationship breakdowns and ill-health, are just some of the many reasons people find themselves doing it tough.  Orange
Sky Australia is the world’s first free mobile laundry service for people who are experiencing homelessness, or simply going through a tough time.
 
Orange Sky helps Aussies in all situations, regardless of their sleeping arrangements, regain their dignity with warm showers, clean clothes and meaningful conversations.
 
 


editor

Publisher
Michael Walls
michael@accessnews.com.au
0407 783 413

Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.