Peel region's WA Mums Cottage has received a wave of community support and donations following a public appeal after the organization faced an unexpected rent hike of $110 per week. As a result, the non-profit organization will be able to continue providing essential services to the community.
The organization's founder and chair, Kaye Seeber, announced in a letter sent to the Mandurah Coastal Times that the team was "crying with happiness and relief" at the outpouring of support. "With such support the board confidently made the decision to sign the new lease with the rental increase and heave a sigh of relief," she added.
Ms. Seeber further said that, following the appeal, eleven people gave one-off donations of $110, three "very generous" people donated $1,000, and another businessman had promised to donate the balance needed for the year. The community's generous contributions have allowed the organization to cover the rent increase for the next twelve months.
According to Ms. Seeber, the organization faced losing its property after the landlord announced the rent increase with only three weeks' notice. She explained that the current cost of living crisis was to blame for the increase. "The landlord has previously been generous in keeping our rent below market, but with the increase in interest rates and other costs, together with the tight rental market, there is no room for negotiation," she added.
Prior to the influx of support, the organization was exploring various options, including purchasing a property or renting another space. However, Ms. Seeber said that in the current environment, they would not be able to afford another rental or even the purchase of a house.
The WA Mums Cottage is an essential resource for the Peel region, providing a safe space for those facing domestic violence, mental health issues, and poverty. The donations have alleviated concerns over the organization's future and mean that it can continue to offer its services to those in need.
"We can confidently go forward fulfilling the mission and vision of WA Mums Cottage in assisting women and children in distress," said Ms. Seeber. "Mandurah indeed has a very kind and generous community; thank you everyone for your heartfelt response to our crisis."
The show of community support is heartening, demonstrating that small actions can have a significant impact in creating change and supporting those who need it most.