The Harcourts Foundation, the charitable arm of Harcourts Group Australia, announced a new initiative to designate Orange Sky Laundry as a preferred national charity.
Orange Sky Australia is the world's first free mobile laundry and shower service. Co-founders, Nicolas Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, were named 2016 Young Australians of the Year for their work in establishing the organisation.
“We were first introduced to the inspired work that Orange Sky Laundry is doing while at our annual Conference in May 2017,” said Marcus Williams, Harcourts Group Australia CEO. “Over 500 Harcourts team members heard about the direct impact in our community made by donations through The Harcourts Foundation.
“Rather than our support being a ‘drop in the ocean’ for many other national charities, our contribution will make a tangible difference to many of the over 105,000 homeless Australians. This is a great opportunity to align ourselves with a cause - related to our industry - that supports our local communities, on a nationwide basis.”
Mr Williams went on to explain that the first grant to Orange Sky Laundry was made through the Harcourts Western Australia office team who designated $6000, which is equal to providing 1000 washes.
“Since Orange Sky kicked off in October 2014, we have been continually blown away by the support we’ve received and how well the vans have been integrated into a range of communities,” said Mr Marchesi.
“The support from Harcourts allows us to continue to support people doing it tough and ensure that we have all the resources we need to increase our impact in the community.”
While Orange Sky is known for providing laundry and shower services, Lucas said it was the hours of conversation that has the biggest impact.
“Our six orange chairs are the most important part of our service. It’s where our friends who attend our shifts have the opportunity to sit and build relationships with volunteers through genuine and non-judgmental conversations,’’ he said.
Since the mobile laundry van began offering free laundry services in Perth North in July 2017, Orange Sky has undertaken over 5,000 washes and generated over 6,800 hours of genuine and positive conversation with our homeless friends.
These funds, raised by Harcourts Kalamunda at their fundraising Dinner Dance in October 2017, will contribute to the ongoing operation of the laundry van, specifically covering costs associated with volunteer recruitment and training including specialised First Aid Mental Health training for new and existing volunteers.
Harcourts corporate team members who salary sacrifice to the Foundation are given the chance to nominate a specific charity for a grant as part of an initiative called ‘corporate choice grants’, while the Landmark Harcourts network also designates grant recipients. These contributions now proudly support Orange Sky Laundry Australia.
Since The Harcourts Foundation’s first donation in 2008, over $5 million has been raised. That translates to 686 charities supported, 311 communities impacted, and 851 grants made through Harcourts offices in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and the USA.