DONATIONS to local Vinnies centres are declining, with the tough economic climate thought to be behind the downturn.
Figures released by the St Vincent de Paul Society yesterday showed a 14 per cent decline in donations from the same time last year, but Bendigo area manager Liz Schupina said it could be higher than that.
“It depends from week to week, but it could be as high as a 20 per cent decline,” she said.
“It’s probably because people are hanging on to furniture a bit longer, money’s a bit tighter and welfare needs have grown.
“In the last few months it’s been a notable decline.”
Furniture and other items donated to the three local stores is given to those in need, with excess stock sold and money going to the needy. “Our priority is welfare,” Ms Schupina said.
“Good quality furniture is definitely needed especially in the lead up to Christmas.”
Ms Schupina said there were 12,000 people in Shepparton who received assistance from Vinnies each month, and that figure was likely to be similar to Bendigo.
“There are some things that we don’t want, anything that costs to get rid of,” she said.
“Stained mattresses, torn lounges, old TVs and whitegoods that aren’t in any working order, we can’t use.
“But we’re always after good furniture like beds, couches, tables and chairs.”
Large items can be collected and anyone looking to donate should call 1800 621 349.
The local stores are based in Bendigo, Kangaroo Flat and Eaglehawk.