YADA Are Doing It For Themselves.
About 26 years ago, a fellow by the name of John and a lady he knew whilst working as a Community Transport Driver, Jennifer, decided to create a safe place for people with disabilities to come together and socialise. John took it upon himself to register the blossoming organisation as a charity, organise funding and fundraising, and arrange a place for the users of the new service to meet, mingle and make merry.
Nowadays, YADA (Young Adults Disabled Association) is blessed to hold twice-weekly get-togethers at a community hall, with transport co-ordinated to pick up the participants from where they live (and drop them back home again). Here they learn craft and singing, dancing and games –once a month they take a day trip and, once a year, a holiday. Each Christmas the members put on a show and are visited by Santa, with everyone receiving a present. They’ve been around the world, developed life skills not taught elsewhere, and gained crucial confidence so that they can contribute positively to society. YADA has, over the years, won approximately 45 community awards and John has been named Citizen of the Year.
‘That’s all well and good’, you might say, ‘but what’s so special about YADA?’
John Eastwood, YADA (r) collects brochures printed by Phil Pearson, KwikKopy Liverpool using Smarter Barter.
The differentiating feature when it comes to this organisation is that YADA is over 90% self-sufficient. Receiving very little by way of government funding (in fact, it only collects Home and Community Care Funding) YADA raises most of its own funds and is run almost exclusively by volunteers – right down to the bus drivers that collect the members and take them to meetings. They pay an office assistant to keep things functioning smoothly, and a bus driver that collects far less than he is entitled to for the hours he works each week.
The fundraising arm of YADA is its recycling group. In a small, unassuming house in Liverpool sit a group of dedicated workers, either disassembling everything they collect for recycling and sale, or on-selling it in one of their three shops. Every spare cent is poured straight back into the organisation, to subsidise outings and holidays. But more about this part of YADA shortly.
The organisation owns YADA Coaches, again with all profits funnelled right back to the charity. Buses and coaches are available to hire by the public for trips and outings, and once the expenses are paid for any leftovers go to the organisation to provide food for the weekend excursions, or saved for the end-of-year holidays and parties. This year’s Christmas party theme is ‘Grease’ and it’s set to be a great night out; the YADA members are looking forward to it and rehearsals have begun already. Presents are being organised and a venue is almost booked. All possible only through John’s tireless efforts.
But back to the recycling. YADA will collect anything and everything being disposed of, from your premises, and meticulously divide what can be sold from what can’t. Items suitable for sale are taken to one of their stores (two in Mount Pritchard and one in Ingleburn), run by volunteers. Items that can’t be sold are taken apart and what can be sold for scrap is separated into bins. In all, only about 5% of what is collected ends up at the tip. What is salvaged is sold, and – you guessed it – the funds put straight back into the charity. It helps the environment, and that can’t be a bad thing!
And who helps in the recycling of collected items? People from all walks of life: those fresh from gaol (or those on a path there), the unemployed and those on ‘work for the dole’, the elderly and those with spare time that want to donate it to a worthy cause. John isn’t picky, and he is a firm believer in second chances. If you have the time, he has a job for you. YADA can’t exist without volunteers. If you have a spare hour a week – or even a month – give John a call.
When you think about it, there’s not many that YADA don’t help – the disabled, the unemployed, the disadvantaged, those with too much time/too little company/too many unwanted items, and the environment. If you fit into any of these categories, be thankful.
If you don’t, be thankful, too.
YADA are Members of Smarter Barter. Last year YADA traded approx T$6K, 2011 should see this grow to about T$15K. That's $15000 cash saved, paid for by offering coach travel to fellow Members.