Ryde Citizen of the Year: Carmen Lee Platt

posted in: Community ?, Life | 0

 

Congratulations to local mum and unbelievable human Carmen Lee Platt who was just announced as City of Ryde Citizen of the Year 2021! Carmen is the CEO and co-founder of The Generous and The Grateful, an incredible social enterprise she started in 2017.

Working with frontline agencies such as The Australian Red Cross and Mission Australia, The Generous and The Grateful provides BIG essential household items to those in need.

We want you to know all about the Generous and the Grateful because there is ample opportunity to get involved, whether it be by donating goods or money, by volunteering, or simply sharing the good word about their services.

However, from the outset, and to give you an insight into the philosophy of the organisation, Carmen wants us all to think not in terms of ‘giving back’, but rather ‘taking part’, and not in terms of ‘getting rid of stuff you don’t need’ but rather ‘uplifting those in need’.

With this in mind, here’s a bit of background about The Generous and The Grateful, otherwise known as #TeamKindness.

 

In the Beginning

As we have probably all experienced, the word COMMUNITY suddenly becomes a whole lot more important once you have children. For Carmen, her transition to motherhood was when she realised her calling to be there for her community.

After working as an advocate in Mums4Refugees, she discovered that there was a clear need for key household goods in a hurry, and went about finding these goods through Facebook groups, Freecycle, Gumtree etc. with the idea that if she could set up a safe home for someone, they could get on with rebuilding their lives more easily. 

In her spare time, Carmen travelled around Sydney with her trusty blue trailer finding used goods from generous people. She then worked with Caseworkers to arrange delivery to those who had nothing; no beds to sleep on, no machine to wash in, no pots to cook in.

She received an overwhelming amount of items from kind-hearted people wanting to help out those in need and was excited to decrease unnecessary landfill in the process.

 

Now

Four years in and Carmen and her beautiful co-founder Davida Sweeney lead a team of more than 60 volunteers and their efforts have assisted some of the most vulnerable people in the community, including those escaping domestic abuse and persecution, those recovering from homelessness, and youth or women over 55 at risk of homelessness.

Donors are now often hotels refurbishing their 5-star rooms, and businesses sharing returns and excess stock, and individuals who are renovating, upsizing, downsizing or helping an elder into care.

Last year Carmen and her volunteer team completed nearly 10 homes a week. Remember the last time you moved? Imagine doing that 10 times for people you don’t know yet! In 2020 they turned a total of 489 empty rentals into safe, inviting homes – that’s 1300 people living comfortably and feeling respected. WOW.

 

How It Works

The Generous and the Grateful only take requests through approved agency partners (e.g. Women’s Shelters, Wesley Mission, Mission Australia, The Red Cross, etc.) These wonderful agency partners understand all that is needed by their clients and The Generous and The Grateful work to supply the bulky homewares. This saves precious time for both the agency and the client in need, leaving each to concentrate on everything else like trauma support, employment, keeping kids in school, and financial independence

 

Get Involved

Volunteer!

There are LOADS of roles available through which you can donate your time in fortnightly or weekly shifts of 3-4 hours. There are volunteer-from-home opportunities, more hands-on roles, and everything in between.

The roles are well suited to suit stay-at-home carers, can be during school hours, and accommodate holidays for parents, students and retirees. Visit the website for more information.

P.s. if know anyone who is good at fixing things or wants to learn how to reupholster chairs – send them this link!

Spread the Word

Do you know a business with excess goods and skills to share? Do you know people upgrading or renovating that might have something wonderful to share that will brighten someone else’s future?

Fridges and Washing Machines are THE most important items that every recipient needs and are the hardest to find.

Donate Money

GG’s biggest expense is transport. You can pitch in to keep their truck ‘Gloria este Van’ on the road or other minor costs of running a growing organisation.

GG would love your support to keep the kindness wheels turning – DONATE HERE!

Donate Items

There is a list on the GG website of items they are in need of – Working whitegoods are the hardest to find. Sets of drawers, TV’s, Microwaves and small dining tables are also on the Yes Please list right now. 

They are NOT currently in need of beds or sofas/lounges. Keep in mind that ‘better than nothing’ is not the aim. GG’s believes in uplifting each other and providing high-quality items in full working order is a great way to do that.

 

More Info

If you want to know more about the excellent services of The Generous and The Grateful, you can check out this FAQ page on their website – it covers all bases.

You can follow GG on their socials here – Instagram & Facebook.

 

Well done again, to this wonderful local mum and her team of big-hearted humans – you are inspirational and an asset to the Ryde area!