Quota International of Batemans Bay, NSW, Australia
Our Quota Cares Month project
We decided to undertake a range of activities under the banner of “Connecting and Caring.” The month started with participating in Clean Up Australia Day with Quota being responsible for the Malua Bay Beach Reserve where we hold our bimonthly seaside markets. A surprising number of bags were filled and much laughter accompanied efforts to “fish” bottles and other rubbish out of the creek. We have also has been busy packaging and distributing a thousand “Vial of Life” packages to local doctors’ surgeries and pharmacies. . The Vial of Life Program not only provides a valuable aid to individuals and emergency service workers but is another way of having the “Quota” brand in the public eye. March has also seen the knitting needles come out in earnest and members have been getting together to knit squares which can be sewn into blankets and other woollen items to be distributed through the ‘Helping Hands’ program. The knitted blankets will be going to various parts of South Africa, to flood victims in Queensland and the local Women’s Shelter. The premmie baby sets (bonnets & bootees) will be going to Papua New Guinea. We also visited the Eurobodalla Cancer Care Centre to present $3000 from our fundraising which has been used toward the purchase of a specialised chair for patients undergoing chemotherapy. An unplanned activity which fitted well into the theme of Connecting and Caring was catering for the funeral of the husband of a former member.
How did our QCM project benefit our community?
The direct community benefit of an activity such as Clean Up Australia Day is self-evident (removal of rubbish from public areas, reduction in pollution of waterways) but the decision to participate as a club meant that there was less organisation required by the Clean Up team as we had enough members to take care of a large area. Our collective impact was greater than that of individuals. Similarly our group activity of knitting has meant that the helping Hands program (of the Anglican Church) has received a significant donation without a major effort on their part. We restarted Vial of Life after the program had been in abeyance for a number of years at the request of local emergency service officials and the take-up has justified the effort. People in the community have welcomed this simple means of keeping their personal health and contact details readily accessible. The activities have provided the opportunity to wear our shirts and badges with pride in the community and to have at least one article published in the local newspaper. It has also demonstrated to other community organisations that we are a club willing to collaborate in activities for the benefit of the whole community – not only our own initiatives. One prospective member was sufficiently impressed to promise to join on her return from 3 months holiday. While only time will tell if these activities will generate an increased interest in membership, it certainly demonstrates to the community that we are an active,…
How did our QCM project benefit our club / members?
While we are always “busy” Quota Cares Month provided an opportunity to work together with a positive focus and provided opportunities for all activity levels and skills. It also provided leadership opportunities for members organising individual activities and showed that we are open to new ideas and ways of doing things. While not all our members were able to walk the beach picking up rubbish, and at least one had not used knitting needles for 50 years there was something for everyone. The benefits of working in a group are incalculable, not only in increased output, but also in promoting a sense of shared vision and social cohesion. The Connecting and Caring banner was not only about connecting with the community, but also connecting with each other. We shared fun and laughter, commiserated and sympathised over problems, learnt more about each other and helped those who were out of their comfort zone. We have a good story to tell our friends, family and other community organisations and take pride in being Quotarians.
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