Let's Pop The Cork For This Cheeky Charity
I wrote an article last year about something that started with a humble toothbrush and a lightbulb moment in a suburban shower and this month, Pinchapoo, one of Australia’s unique charities, celebrates its 10th birthday.
In doing so, this cheeky modern-day Robin Hood movement can proudly look back on a decade of supplying Australia’s most disadvantaged men, woman and children with over 3.5 million personal hygiene essentials using this world-first concept, thanks to the founder, gorgeous Kate Austin.
Pinchapoo has unapologetically encouraged the nation to pinch their hotel toiletries included in the cost of accommodation to help provide access to this fundamental human right for the 1 in 6 families that are forced to choose between purchasing food or essential personal hygiene products at checkouts each week.
Kate, often referred to as a ‘crazy social justice warrior’, has defied the odds and done it very differently to anything the industry has seen before. She is one inspirational woman who I have had the pleasure of getting to know via social media. Kate is the first to shine the light elsewhere and give praise to the dedicated army – lovingly known as the ‘poo crew’ – who help bring the mission to life each day and impact hundreds of thousands of lives each year.
While childhood violence caused Kate severe anxiety, psychosis and even suicide attempts later in life, she prefers to focus on the opportunity she’s been given to have a voice and create significant change.
“It’s not about where I’ve come from, but the vehicle we have to allow everyone to be part of our work without having to put their hands in their pockets. Collaboratively, we have made something pretty special."
Pinchapoo works now with an ever-expanding 320 leading organisations as a total hygiene solution, providing customised packs to people in need via homeless and domestic violence shelters, crisis housing, refugees, schools, hospitals, jails, soup vans, community shower programs, outreach healthcare, therapy camps, aboriginal communities and natural disaster relief projects.
This anniversary is a chance for the team to reflect on the triumph of a seemingly impossible model and the start-up days of porch loads of dumped donations sorted daily by friends and stored in the hallway of Kate’s home, the stories of impact and those who have believed in and followed their journey.
“We built a model that allows us to help everyone in every unique situation of need safely, and that includes recognising the equally important hygiene needs of men; they are forgotten in this space and account for more than half of our support requests."
And that’s worth some serious celebrating, and that’s just what we will happen at a poo party to be held later in the year.
Behind the scenes at Pinchapoo HQ
Customised hygiene packs are produced by the thousands every day at the Bayswater, Victoria, warehouse by a 100% volunteer workforce. These packs are sent to over 300 organisations, community groups and government agencies/institutions supporting the homeless. The products help victims of sexual and domestic abuse, hospitals, refugees, aboriginal communities, disadvantaged families via schools, jails, natural disaster relief centres, foster children, mobile shower units, drop in shower facilities and many more.
How you can help:
Keep “pinching” products when you stay in hotels or other accommodation, or purchase when you do your supermarket shop, send them to Pinchapoo and share this article around to family and friends.
Kate and I would love to thank you for your ongoing support.
And yes, I promise to do an article on my first ever poo party!
Carolyn (Caz) Rowland is a fashion designer at Cazinc The Label, model, lifestyle blogger and professional Image Stylist. Caz is also a qualified NLP Master Therapist, Advanced Practitioner of Matrix Therapies, Time Line Therapist, Practitioner of Hypnotherapy, has a Diploma for Business and Life Coaching. Caz is happily married to her husband Simon, and raised four beautiful children, who are now young adults and a teenager.
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