Rotary news for November

Keith Ryall

This month, we begin with an update on the Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Resources Network (RIMERN).

First, a huge thank you to the many donors from all around Metro Melbourne for all the good-quality furniture, appliances, and household essentials. We have had so many goods donated that we have suspended collection of any further materials until more deliveries can be made to clients of member welfare agencies.

Just recently, RIMERN was able to assist a young Australian woman who has just spent four years in jail. While in jail, this person completed a double degree and came out to stay with her Mum, but her Mum had moved and through the social welfare agency, our client was given a one-bedroom flat of her own.

Rotary volunteers helped set up her flat and offered her a choice of sofa colors, an extra wall print and white furniture as her place is quite dark. COVID has meant extra restrictions on clients being unable to personally come into the East Brunswick warehouse and select their own furniture and white goods, so as the restrictions are eased, we hope to be sending out many more deliveries to families in genuine need as identified by our member welfare agencies.

Here is an endorsement received in late October from one of our welfare agencies …

“The support offered by RIMERN is second to none. The choice, flexibility, and non-judgmental assistance provided to those most in need can be hard to come by. Having the ability to create a home sanctuary when you may have never experienced safety in the home can be a life changing experience, allowing people to not only start fresh with everything they need, but to feel comfortable and happy in their new homes. Thank you RIMERN!”

One of the very first assistance packages was made to a person who is now a resident in Carlton’s high-rise housing commission flats. All recipients are in the inner Melbourne metropolitan area.

Another person in Fairfield had all our offerings set up like a display home because we were careful to send her things that matched and looked great together. As Susie Cole from Prahran Rotary commented, “it’s all about the dignity, how we try to only give clients things we’d have in our own homes, that are modern(ish), clean, working and suited to small homes and all our clients’ needs.”

The photos show Rotarians from various clubs around Melbourne, not only from Carlton, but also Glenferrie, Prahran, South Melbourne and Canterbury. At the moment these clubs, as well as Albert Park, Balwyn, Camberwell, Central Melbourne, Flemington-Kensington, Melbourne, North Balwyn, North Melbourne, Collingwood, Pascoe Vale, Glen Eira and Preston have all supported RIMERN.

Carlton Rotary returns to in-person meetings from November 9

Now that lockdown six has officially ended and restrictions are being eased for in-house dining arrangements, Carlton Rotary will be returning to Graduate House for its November 9 meeting at 1pm. Contact Keith Ryall on 0418 589 144 for details. Guests are most welcome.

Special Christmas Luncheon – Tuesday, December 14

Victor Perton, the chief optimism officer at the Centre for Optimism will be our very special in-house keynote speaker at Graduate House at 12.30pm for a 1pm start.

We also hope to have in attendance, our latest associate member, who the club assisted with safely relocating from Afghanistan to Australia after the Taliban takeover. For safety and privacy reasons, we are not at liberty to release his name. Suffice to say, it was a miracle that this man, his wife and seven children were able to leave Kabul and eventually get to Australia where they are able to make a fresh start like other Afghan refugees mentioned in the October edition of Inner City News.

Carlton Rotary has a tradition of donating books to children at Ronald Macdonald House at the Royal Children’s Hospital – books are collected at the December 14 meeting and taken directly to Ronald Macdonald House.

Book Fair

Carlton Rotary’s popular December Book Fair will be returning to either a vacant shop front in Lygon St or to another prominent place, still to be announced. More details will be provided in the next edition •

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