Introducing this year’s Christmas charity partner, Orange Sky
RCSA is delighted to announce this year’s Christmas charity partner, non-profit organisation, Orange Sky. The team at RCSA is very proud to support the vital efforts of Orange Sky in supporting people experiencing homelessness. We asked them more questions about their important work.
Tell us a bit about Orange Sky and how the business serves communities?
Orange Sky is a non-profit organisation providing free mobile laundry and shower services to people experiencing homelessness. Each week, thousands of volunteers give their time to help positively connect some of the 116,000 Australians doing it tough. The focus is on creating a safe, positive and supportive environment for people who are too often ignored or feel disconnected from the community. Over the past six years, Orange Sky has provided our friends (people experiencing homelessness) with access to free laundry, warm showers, and most importantly, genuine and non-judgemental conversation.
What are the big issues Orange Sky addresses through its operation?
The unique thing about Orange Sky is that it’s based around human connection. We meet people who might be having the toughest time of their lives, but they can come to an Orange Sky shift, sit down on an orange chair and feel connected to a community. Having clean clothes can restore a sense of self-esteem and confidence, but the positive conversations and interactions that happen while the washing machines are spinning can be transformative - not just for our friends, but for volunteers as well.
Who is Orange Sky and how do you attract the right people to work with you?
We’re lucky enough to have built a team of truly incredible volunteers and staff at Orange Sky, who each bring something different; our background, skills and experiences are all so diverse. Our common thread, however, is the genuine belief in what we do and this is what initially attracts people to join our team.
We took the time to establish what was important to Orange Sky, and the qualities we want in our people – people who strive to continually improve, build and maintain honest relationships, walk the walk, and give things a crack – these are essential things to our success.
We’ve ingrained these key qualities into everything we do – from a values-based approach to recruitment (where regardless of the role, part of our interview process is held on a shift so candidates can see and understand first-hand what we do), to performance, employee experience and engagement.
Each of our team play an important role in living our values and building the culture, and this is what helps attract more of the right people to continue working with us.
How can Australians support Orange Sky?
Orange Sky provides a laundry and shower service, but it’s the connection and conversations that happen on shift while sitting on orange chairs that have the greatest impact. The focus is on creating a safe, positive and supportive environment. You can support by simply starting a conversation about what we do and connecting with your friends, family and colleagues as a starting point.
Orange Sky relies on the support and donation from everyday people to help us continue to deliver our mission to positively connect communities. $24 will help provide a friend with access to a clean load of laundry, so every dollar counts and we’re so grateful for any donation - big or small.
We also need volunteers to help operate our services and ensure that our friends have a place to sit down and chat. If you have a few hours spare a week or fortnight, we’d love it if you would consider volunteering with Orange Sky. You can sign up online at orangesky.org.au/volunteer
Why have you partnered with RCSA?
As a for-purpose organisation, Orange Sky believes in connecting with likeminded organisations who share similar values and professionalism to help us achieve our mission. By partnering with RCSA we hope to share our message of innovation further to help inspire, excite and engage with the business community to support what we do.
How will any money donated to Orange Sky be used?
Your donation will go directly towards supporting our mission to positively connect communities through clean clothes, warm showers and non-judgemental conversations.
What’s the next big focus for the business?
COVID-19 has meant that Orange Sky has been operating in a world where things are changing daily, but what remains the same is the commitment from our team to continue innovating and supporting our friends on the street. After recently pausing our shifts, we are excited to be back operating with increased health and safety measures.
During the month of October, we were excited to deliver 2,197 washes, 230 showers, 4,409 hours of conversation on 556 shifts across Australia. We continue to add more shifts in more locations each and every week. Each and every one of those shifts is critical to laying the foundation for our future and ensuring that we can meet our five year goal of supporting more than 40,000 people who are doing it tough, and doing it more efficiently and in a more sustainable way.