TAREE residents Eve Witschge and Juanita Vernon have received the Hero Award plaque presented by Swags for Homeless.
Eve and Juanita are two of 18 caring and compassionate individuals, schools and corporate supporters to have received Honours in the Annual Hero Awards 2013 presented by Swags for Homeless, a national not for profit homeless charity that provides emergency relief Backpack Beds to street sleeping homeless people without shelter.
Swags for Homeless was the winner of the 2011 Australian Human Rights Award for Best Community Organisation.
Armed with information about Swags for Homeless, Eve and Juanita travelled to Canberra where they met with an advisor to the Prime Minister.
Following this they joined in a fundraising charity walk as it approached Sydney to raise funds for Swags for Homeless.
Swags for Homeless relies on the goodwill and support of volunteers like Eve and Juanita to offer street sleeping homeless people a sense of dignity, a lift in self-esteem and protection against the harsh outdoor elements. In 2012, over 3000 award winning Backpack Beds were distributed to people in desperate need across Australia.
Celebrity Ambassador for Swags for Homeless, multi-talented stand-up, host and actress, Julia Morris said she was proud of the caring and compassionate volunteers who have received Hero Awards for their work in helping the homeless. Julia highlighted "I could not be more proud to be one of the recipients of a 'Swags for Homeless' Hero Award. The daily volunteers are the real heroes - who help provide and distribute the lifesaving Backpack Beds to some of Australia's most needy; our street sleeping homeless."
Tony Clark, founder and CEO of Swags for Homeless said the organisation was fortunate to receive Eve and Juanita's important assistance and support in the past year.
"Without government funding we rely on people doing amazing things to help the homeless. In 2012, Eve and Juanita showed outstanding service to help street sleeping homeless. All of our Heroes assisted Swags for Homeless in our work to save the lives of homeless people turned away from shelters empty handed."
The Backpack Bed by Swags for Homeless has revolutionised single bed outdoor sleeping for street sleeping homeless turned away from shelters and as material aid for disaster relief. The Backpack Bed meets 47 international safety and quality standards, has a built-in mattress and rolls up to be worn as an ergonomic backpack.
Swags for Homeless partners with 200+ homeless welfare agencies to distribute Backpack Beds across Australia with this program now spreading to New Zealand, UK and Germany. A total of 40,878 Australians will sleep on the streets this year. A study has shown Backpack Beds improve homeless dignity, health, comfort and warmth.
The Backpack Bed has won five global product design awards including Germany's Red Dot 'Best of the Best' and is on display in three international museums in Sydney, Paris and Germany. With a self-sustaining charity vision, Backpack Beds are also sold to the public with profits going back to help more homeless projects.
To support Swags for Homeless please visit www.swags.org.au