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Lending a hand in Western Australia

Last month, ten eager Christian Brothers College (CBC) Fremantle staff have turned their backs on their chalk boards and books to help a family in Thornlie, Western Australia.

This was part of Habitat’s Brush with Kindness program which mobilises teams of volunteers program to conduct landscaping and minor repairs to the exterior of homes of people who may be disadvantaged, disabled or socially isolated.

As low income earners, the family of 12 were experiencing difficulties managing to live day to day and couldn’t believe their luck when they were offered a hand up to improve their living conditions.

“I’m only using three lights in the house to keep my electricity costs down…I can’t believe all this help with my home, I just want something better for my kids”, explains mum Cas.

Thanks to the volunteers and Dulux in Cannington, who provided the paint and accessories, they patched and painted three quarters of the home. In addition, they constructed a new bunk bed and kitted it out for the kids.

As part of the ‘sweat equity’ component, three of the family members pitched in to work with the volunteer team. Partner families contribute 500 hours of their own time in return for a low-interest mortgage and capped repayments. Cas’ family will also continue to work on the rest of the home that has yet to be completed.

“Without our corporate volunteer program and the support of our sponsors, we’d be unable to deliver low-cost programs such as Brush with Kindness to families in need,” said Christine Stanton, Habitat WA’s Executive Director. “It was great to see the family working alongside our volunteers to help them renovate and restore their home. They showed real enthusiasm with their tasks and an eagerness to improve their living conditions.”

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