Vinnies Queensland has partnered with the Ukrainian Community of Queensland (UCQ) to provide clothing, furniture, toys and other household items for displaced Ukrainians fleeing their war-torn home country.
UCQ President Peter Bongiorni said he was awaiting a second wave of Ukrainian refugees in the coming weeks, arriving in Queensland with no more than a suitcase and the clothes on their back.
“The next wave of refugees we are expecting are unlikely to have existing family or friends in the community and will really need support in getting settled here,” Mr Bongiorni said.
“We reached out to Vinnies Queensland to see if they could assist, thinking they may just be able to help us distribute donations of clothes and goods we’ve received from the community.
“Instead, they’ve gone one better and provided us with $25,000 worth of vouchers to distribute to new arrivals in need, including Vinnies Shops and grocery stores.
Vinnies Queensland CEO Kevin Mercer said the organisation was proud to support new arrivals to the sunshine state and help them settle following the traumatic and tragic circumstances they have experienced.
“Vinnies’ mission is to help anyone in need, including those coming to Queensland to escape conflict in their home country,” Mr Mercer said.
“Many refugees arrive here with little belongings, no support network, and no access to Centrelink – our partnership with UCQ will help refugees get a head start and by providing these vouchers, we can empower them to make their own choices about what they need most.”
Mr Bongiorni said the UCQ had been helping around 20 Ukrainian refugees a week however he expected this number to continue to grow exponentially as the war in the Ukraine surges.
“We’re all volunteers here so it has certainly been a lot of work, but I could not be more thankful to the Queensland community and Vinnies for helping Queensland’s newest arrivals” he said.
“We’re trying to help as much as we can and are blessed to have such a generous team of volunteers and support from our communities.”
Community donations of clothes, toys and furniture to support the Queensland community including Ukrainian refugees are welcomed and can be made to any Vinnies store across the state.
For more information about Vinnies Queensland, visit qld.vinnies.org.au
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Ukrainian Refugees and Displaced People arriving in Queensland are able to access the Vinnies vouchers by visiting our community centre during our advertised opening times each week or by emailing [email protected]