My experience as a GWYL Loaned Executive

Barwon Timber and its employees have contributed to Give Where You Live (GWYL) for a number of years through the Workplace Giving program, annual donations and event involvement.  This year, we were invited by GWYL to participate in its Loaned Executive program. Benjamin was selected to take the Loaned Executive role and the following is his experience.

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During the last 2 months I have been lucky enough to be part of the Loaned Executive program with Give Where You Live. This is a non-profit organisation which raises funds to help out Geelong’s most disadvantaged people.

The main purpose for the Loaned Executive is to raise money through work place giving.  Last year $900,000 was raised through pledges made by Geelong workers. Over the last 7 weeks the 36 loaned executives have been able to raise $95,000 dollars, with 2 weeks left to go. With this money plus corporate donations, Give Where You Live will distribute $2.06 million dollars back into the community to 58 Geelong organisations.

We spent two days of learning about Give Where You Live and training to be a Loaned Executive at the Gordon Institute of Tafe.  During this time we were taken on the Seeing is believing tour to visit organisations that benefit from GWYL donations.

One of the organisations we visited was the Geelong Food Relief Centre.  The centre is a mini-supermarket which is there to provide food for those in need in the Geelong community. The centre last year received about $700,000 worth of food and goods, for a cost of $120,000. This was able to help out 10,000 families in Geelong.

I was also lucky enough to visit Geelong Mums.  This organisation receives donations of pre-loved children equipment – from car seats to prams and clothing.  Run by a couple of amazing women and with the help of Give Where You Live,  Geelong Mum’s was able to grow from being run from a back yard shed to a warehouse in South Geelong.   With support from GWYL they are able to help even more families.  This is an extremely vital organisation as no child should go without the basic needs.

GWYL has a work place giving program and it’s one of the most straight forward donation schemes I have come across.  It’s as simple as donating straight from your pay packet on a weekly basis. By donating as little as $2 per week you will have pledged $104 a year.  No more than a cup of coffee a week makes a big different to those in need.   My role as a Loaned Executive was to encourage Geelong work places to contribute to GWYL.

The time I have spent being a Loaned Executive has been fantastic and has been a real eye opener.  I would like to thank Barwon Timber for giving me the opportunity to get involved in such a magnificent program. I would also like to thank all the people who made a pledge to give money to GWYL.  It’s been a great experience and I would recommend people get involved.

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“From Training Day 1, Benjamin embraced the role of Loaned Executive.  It was a pleasure to have him in the team and watch him develop greater awareness of the needs in our community.  Benjamin’s passion and commitment has been recognised through his nomination for the Gordon Murray Award – an award which is presented annually to a Loaned Executive who demonstrates excellence in the role.  Congratulations Benjamin.”

Leigh Johnston, Loaned Executive Program Manager


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