Friday, July 3, 2009

Swap Til You Drop - 28th June

Dear friends,

On behalf of the swap team, I would like to thank every single swapper who braved the chilly, early Sunday morning and came to Crown Hotel to support our swap party fundraiser! Thanks to the generosity of our 80 or so swappers, and the hard work of my team and the Oaktree Foundation volunteers, we reached our initial target of $1000 in less than 2 hours!

It was great meeting our swappers, and based on the smiles and lovely comments and emails we have received, it seems like the event was a hit! We’re so happy to be able to contribute to the Timor-Leste Youth Livelihoods Foundation in a way that is also sustainable and beneficial for everyone involved. The success of our swap party stands as testament to the idea that one person’s ‘trash’, can truly be somebody else’s ‘treasure’ – we were so amazed by all the items that people were coming in and leaving with!

This swap party fundraiser was our first event as a team. We were grouped via the amazing Oaktree Foundation, and personally, I felt really lucky to have had the privilege and fun of working with such lovely, passionate and enthusiastic people who willingly dedicated so much heart, effort and time into this fundraiser. Our swappers might recognise them as the smiley people in the red shirts running around frantically, constantly making sure everyone was happy. Watch this space, because I am sure that this is not the last you’ll hear of Amritha, Anna, Monique and the Oaktree Foundation Generate Volunteers! It was really cool to see so many people interested in getting involved – and for those wanting to make a difference, I would definitely recommend getting involved with any of the Oaktree initiatives, and checking out any of the Global Poverty Project presentations coming to a city near you!

Again, we would like to thank our swappers and supporters for a great event. The staff at Crown Hotel were absolutely amazing, Mark at Wagamama supported our event from our very first baby steps on Twitter, Alix and the Australian East Timor Association offered our swappers amazing goods woven by East Timorese women, Salone Scalone and Sparkles Cupcakery generously provided amazing treats for our swappers, the Be Lured team were on hand to pamper our swappers, and as you can see from these lovely pics, Sam Koh did an awesome job of capturing the moment. We would also like to thank everyone who helped spread the word about our event and cause. And finally, we would like to thank our amazing volunteers who came and helped us keep the event running on the day – Celeste, Alex, Mel, Kate, Lewis, Liz, they say that friends are there not only in good times, but also in times of need!

It means a lot to us that people came and supported our idea and our cause. Poverty is a confronting issue that isn’t just prominent amoung our streets – the challenges of poverty, hunger and disease loom large in the lives of hundreds of millions around the world. The aim of our swap party was not only to raise money to alleviate the poverty of East Timorese youth, but to also benefit our community by allowing people to exchange their pre-loved clothes, books, accessories and so forth with others in the spirit of greater sustainability, and donating the rest to various local charities. Whilst poverty in East Timor is not an issue commonly discussed here in Australia, it is still a poignant issue as ever. With only seven years to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, we are in urgent need of a reminder of the challenges of extreme poverty everywhere around the world, and the opportunities and necessity of more concerted and effective action to support improved livelihoods for the poorest billion people on our planet.

Thank you again to everybody involved in this event. We are excited to see the idea of the Oaktree swap party taking off – Melbourne and Brisbane, keep an eye out!

If you have any feedback, questions or comments you would like to make, we would love to hear them. Please feel free to leave a comment here, or email us at - we still check our email regularly and look forward to working together again and hearing from you,

Cheers and many thanks,
Felicity on behalf of Amritha, Anna and Monique – the best swap team ever!