9 April 2020

VINNIES has issued a plea to Queenslanders with time on their hands ahead of the Easter long weekend.


“Stay at home and save lives - don’t drive donations to your local Vinnies where they will be wasted and cost us money to remove - hold onto them for when our shops re-open,” said CEO Kevin Mercer. 


“Don’t leave them at our doors, don’t leave them at our bins, don’t leave them outside our fenced warehouses. 


“Find a spot in your garage, your wardrobe or under the stairs and keep your donations at home until we re-open.


“Your community will need them more than ever at that time.”


Mr Mercer said to stop the spread of COVID-19, shops are closed and donations can’t be collected or re-purposed.


He said most people do the right thing and don’t dump on Vinnies, but others don’t realise they’re breaking the law. In fact, local and state authorities have strict laws against dumping and littering.


Mr Mercer said dumping increases during the evening when people think they won’t be spotted, and is often picked up on Vinnies’ CCTV cameras.


However, the CEO doesn’t want people doing it tough due to COVID-19 be charged for illegal dumping, or break the government’s isolation restrictions.


“Everyone is struggling right now, with job losses and businesses closing. Vinnies is busy helping people by providing a crisis response in the form of emergency relief of food, utilities and payments for rent and medicine. 


“We don’t want the public to be fined for illegal dumping at this difficult time, but if they do, they could very well receive a hefty fine.


“I also don’t think driving your household items to a closed Vinnies shop or donation bin is considered an essential outing under our current social distancing directives and police are cracking down this weekend.”


The CEO said Vinnies are working with local waste authorities to have items left outside their shops cleared as soon as possible – as well as asking councils and local community groups to share their ‘no dumping’ messages ahead of Easter.


To get Queenslanders on board, the charity is launching fun de-cluttering challenges on their social media platforms from Monday 13 April. The ‘#IsoWithVinnies’ challenge asks people to join a movement of ‘lockdown leaders’, changing the wider community from their homes.


“We’re ensuring our followers don’t let isolation defeat them with a series of fun home challenges that lets them give back to their community, keep their valued donations safe and ready to hand over to us when our shops re-open,” said Mr Mercer.


“People can also be in the running to win great prizes by helping Vinnies re-stock our shops in time for them to re-open.”


Follow Vinnies @VinniesQLD on Facebook and @vinniesqld on Instagram.


153 Vinnies shops are closed across Queensland.



Media contact: Marnie Finster, State Communications and Marketing Manager
Phone: 0433 301 854