Local Veteran Starts Clothing Drive for Area Homeless

Brendon Patrick is a man of many talents. As an Australian Defence Force veteran, fitness trainer and businessman, one would think he has little time for much else. However, adding hobbies to his plate is nothing new for Brendon. His newest venture? Helping Queensland tackle homelessness. The initiative is called Free on a Tree and it was started by 10-year old Oliver Edwards in Hobart, Tasmania after flooding this past May left many people with nowhere to go. The idea behind Free on a Tree is one of compassion and dignity. By placing donated coats, scarves, hats and gloves around trees at parks and other communal areas, an individual can receive these items without having to identify themselves. 

Free on a Tree allows communities to show compassion for one another by donating unused or unneeded coats, clothing items often found in Australian homes. A simple, yet effective way of giving back is what Brendon, along with his fellow FOAT representative James Harris, would like to facilitate with their branch of Free on a Tree based in Keperra.

A study released by the Centre for Social Impact at the University of WA found that one in 20 Australian homeless are Defence Force veterans.

“The issue of homelessness is one near and dear to my heart,” says Totem Fitness Owner Brendon Patrick. “I’m honoured to bring this initiative to my community of North West Brisbane and greater Queensland.”

Since its inception in July, Free on a Tree Queensland now operates in between the Redcliffe peninsula and the CBD. If you would like to take part in this initiative, a coat rack for donations will be present at Totem Fitness’s Community Day event on September 1st from 7am – 5pm at 65 Gilston St, Keperra. Light refreshments will be provided. More information can be found on the website at https://www.totemfitness.com.au/communityday/.

For those unable to attend the event, donations are being accepted at the following locations during regular business hours. 

Totem Fitness – 65 Gilston St, Keperra

Metropolitan Funerals – 174 Anzac Ave, Redcliffe

Fit’scool Redcliffe -1678 Sandgate Road, Virginia 

Distribution points are:
North West Medical Centre – 125 Flockton St, Everton Park
VC Fruit – 18-20 Ferny Way, Ferny Hills
Gap RSL – 23A Glen Affric St, The Gap

The Breakfast Club – 189 Redcliffe Parade, Redcliffe
Encircle Neighbourhood Centre – 1 Lamington Dr, Redcliffe
Shapemaster – 303 Oxley Ave, Margate
Majoh’s Cafe – 150-152 Hornibrook Esplanade, Clontarf

Follow Free on A Tree Queensland on Facebook for updates and new donation and distribution points. https://www.facebook.com/FOATB/

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