Return and Earn raises funds and awareness for the Asylum Seekers Centre
The Asylum Seekers Centre has raised over $15,000 in donations through Return and Earn, and features on the Return and Earn app and some Return and Earn machines as the local donation partner. This means that anyone using the machines or the app can choose to donate all or part of their refunds directly to the ASC.
Helene Do, Head of Philanthropy at the Asylum Seekers Centre said the ASC was thrilled to have raised the money to help people who have fled their countries and need support as they wait for their refugee applications to be processed. Some families have been in Australia for many years, and are still waiting for asylum on temporary bridging visas.
The centre offers a warm welcome and support services including food relief, emergency housing and financial support, a health clinic, employment help, family support and more to thousands of asylum seekers living in Sydney.
“The idea to fundraise with Return and Earn initially came from a group of primary school students,” Said Helen.
“They asked us to collect our containers so they could return them for us and give us the refunds. That was two years ago, and it just went from there.”
Featuring on the Return and Earn machines as the local donation partner helped the ASC to raise awareness and engage more supporters.
“It’s been great to see the wider community show their support and help welcome people seeking asylum by donating through Return and Earn,” said Helen.
“People say it is a nice way to be able to help when they don’t have much money. They can help the planet and help asylum seekers.”
ASC Family Coordinator Antoinette Uwera said that the start of the school year is a particularly challenging time for families seeking asylum. “Kids on bridging visas have to pay international school fees of $1400 each term. That’s a lot for people who are not working,” she said.
In the lead-up to term 1, Antoinette helped families to enrol in schools and get uniforms, stationery and backpacks. She contacted schools asking for school uniforms, and the Department of Education to apply for an exemption to international school fees.
“When you have more than two kids at school it’s really expensive – one shirt with a school logo can cost $60, a jacket can cost $100,” she said.
Aside from schools costs, Helene said that families often struggle to afford basic items. “We use funds to help people buy food and other necessities,’ she said.
“Seeking asylum is a stressful, uncertain process – the funds from Return and Earn will help us to provide essential support and relief to people during this period.”
Fin out ore about donating here.