When recycling means joy at Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network
Multi-Club project Rotary Inner Melbourne Emergency Relief Network (RIMERN) opened its East Brunswick warehouse doors in June 2021 to collect good quality, contemporary-style donated furniture, appliances and homewares to be rehomed with Melburnians being helped into secure housing.
The people assisted had suffered from a range of crises including homelessness, escaping domestic violence, release from jail, refugee displacement or loss from fire or flood.
This residential recycling has kept tonnes of usable homewares out of landfill and made hundreds of Melburnians in need so happy!
Over 18 months, more of Melbourne’s leading welfare agencies have signed on as members, enabling them to order from one item to a house lot for their clients who are being helped to set up secure housing.
Agencies like Launch Housing, Melbourne City Mission, Jesuit Social Services, Cohealth, Neami National, VACCA, VALS, Sacred Heart Mission, Uniting Vic/Tas and many others have been so grateful to find a “one-stop shop” where their clients can select their own homewares, right down to décor items and artwork, so that they are not just comfortable and secure, but also proud of their very own new homes!
As Rotary Carlton spokesman and RIMERN Wednesday supervisor Keith Ryall said, “we don’t give charity, we aim for joy, and our clients are always so happy with the way their new homes look they’re proud to send us pictures and to welcome family and friends.”
Rotary Carlton is an active member club, supplying both funding and volunteers for the many tasks needed to supply around eight full house lots of goods every week!
“We always need more volunteers both at the warehouse or helping remotely, it’s always rewarding and fun, and helping people in our own neighbourhood is vital as rents are climbing, homelessness is growing and more people need support,” Keith said.
With goods coming from private donors, businesses and even property stylists, RIMERN maintains a very high standard of donations to their clients and invites potential donors to check out what they collect, what they don’t and why on their website rimern.org.au.
RIMERN bridges the support offered by Eastern Emergency Relief Network (EERN) in the eastern suburbs and Western Emergency Relief Network (WERN) in the west. All three volunteer-run projects collect donated goods and supply client orders right across the greater Melbourne area.
Unsuitable donations are sent to various op shops and last month the Rotary Flemington/Kensington Op Shop located on Racecourse Rd, Flemington returned the favour by supplying RIMERN with an AED (defibrillator) for emergencies in the warehouse or nearby!
Volunteers from community groups, students, businesses and other service clubs are always welcome. RIMERN will be welcoming students from Newman College at the University of Melbourne soon.
Interested groups and organisations can apply via the website rimern.org.au. RIMERN operates Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 3pm and on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm.
The Rotary Club of Carlton continues to meet on the third Tuesday of each month at Naughtons Hotel, Royal Pde, Parkville at 6.30pm. If you would like to join us on March 21, or any other month, to find out a little more about Rotary, please contact Paul Kruspe on 0423 025 962 or [email protected] and we would make you most welcome. •