Nine years ago, a small group of like-minded, enthusiastic people got together to start a winter coat collection drive called Off Your Back. The idea was that no money would ever change hands, it would be pure and simple with no collateral and only an email directing people to collect and take their pre-loved coats, so that they could be redistributed to the staggering number of homeless people in Victoria.
Off Your Back coat drives now include school collections, company collections and individual volunteers who collect and help with the running of the program annually throughout Victoria.
South Melbourne Market have organised a coat drive this winter to support Off Your Back. Bring your pre-loved coats along to the Market and drop into Market Lotto and News (located in the Centre Aisle near the York Street entrance) any time during July and August. All coat styles and sizes welcomed.
In Australia 116,000 people are homeless on any given night. In Victoria alone an estimated 24,000 people are homeless, with many sleeping on the streets, in squats, tents or sidewalks. If you have an old or unworn coat gathering dust in the back of the cupboard, donate it and help someone in need this winter.