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Donations in Kind Annual Report 2020 – 2021

    It is my pleasure to present my eleventh annual report as Chairman for Donations in Kind (DIK) Central Region for the 2020-21 year. This year has been a challenging year with the impact of the Covid19 pandemic, acceptance of major donation from Calvary hospitals and subsequent provision of much of that to SA Health for Covid19 isolation hospitals. These activities continue to shine a spotlight on DIK and its operations at club, district and state levels.

    Summary of Activities

    The above components are discussed in detail below, but first, some summary statistics:

    Container projects completed: 3 – loaded at DIK warehouse.

    Destinations: Kurdistan, Nepal and Solomon Is.

    Standard containers shipped: 5 (20 foot equivalents)

    Nominal value of goods shipped: A$160,000

    Other international projects assisted: 5                           Local bodies assisted: 13

    Donations collected: 142                                                 Donations in progress: 24

    Donations not collected: 24

    Value of donations picked up by Rotarians: $12, 200

    Club/district presentations: 0                                           Club working bees (at DIK): 22

    Logged volunteer hours: 3872                                         Total value of volunteering: $117,442

    In summary, we continue to take steps to achieve our strategic goals. We have continued to reduce stock levels with the scrapping of obsolete, damaged or unserviceable stocks, and having a general cleanup of the warehouse facility. However, the major influx of equipment from Calvary Hospitals early in 2020 followed by the limitations on operations caused by Covid19 pandemic have limited our ability to get the warehouse into the shape we were looking for in the timeframe expected. Donations continue to be assessed prior to collection to minimise cost and effort and to focus on goods needed to service requests of needy communities. Financially DIK is in a sound position. Sufficient funds were provided for all container projects. Donations, sale of goods and scrap metal covered operating expenses for the year. More details are contained in the following sections, set out under our strategic outcome headings.

    Effective System of Collecting Goods

    A total of 142 donations were collected during the year, with another 24 yet to be assessed/collected and 24 that were either declined or went to another charity. This equates to 2.7 donations to manage each week or one every third day. Donations varied in size from multiple truckloads to individual boxes. The generosity of donors does challenge us in coordinating assessments and collecting goods. We have continued to ensure that goods are assessed prior to collection to minimise wasted effort in collection as well as disposal of unusable goods.

    On 37 occasions, we have had donors deliver their donations which greatly helps. Otherwise we have continued to call on Rotarians to assist in collecting donations on 37 occasions, involving 409 volunteer hours and saving approximately $12, 200 in collection costs. We thank all those who have assisted in this endeavour. A hire truck/trailer/courier was utilised only on 7 occasions.

    I would like to thank the Rotary Club of Largs Bay for their ongoing support in collecting wheelchairs in this regard, repairing the chairs and then delivering them to our warehouse. The time effort and cost of replacement tyres is very substantial and we are most appreciative of their involvement in this over past decades.

    Royal Adelaide Hospital Surplus Goods

    The project is recognised as the largest single Rotary project in South Australia, with 29 containers shipped (49 container equivalents) to 20 different countries. The nominal value of the project being $3.4 million and an estimated purchase cost value of $12.6 million. Still 5 projects, yet to return report / respond to calls for reports. Project 45 (Zambia) still held up at border with Zambia. Still no response from sponsor of Kenya project 50 – presume that container is still being held with no clearance from PIL.

    Goods are Stored Ready for Shipping

    Major effort continues to reduce excess stock levels at the warehouse facility. Substantial amounts of goods have been sold or scrapped which has reduced the clutter within each building as well as the volume of goods outside. Scrap metal netted $2137 in revenue during the year with higher metal prices compared to previous years.

    Damaged skylights continue to expose parts of Building 1 to water damage. A proposal has been put forward to the landlord to remedy the matter by oversheeting the existing glass panels with polycarbonate. The landlord has confirmed that this is acceptable. The requirement for DIK to undertake this remediation has been formalised in a signed lease document. Substantial progress has been made in this regard. COVID19 has limited access to site, volunteers and supply of materials for this major undertaking.

    Rationalisation of electronic medical/dental equipment has been possible with the invaluable assistance of medically trained volunteers. The influx of a large volume of goods, particularly the Calvary goods during the previous year has challenged the orderly management of goods. The significant amount of these goods then going to SA Health in March/April 2020 for the COVID-19 isolation hospitals has given some space and time for further rationalisation and storing of goods. Contracts for two of those isolation hospitals expired in December and also in February resulting in the goods on loan being returned to the warehouse. This has caused more pressure on space within the warehouse.

    The goods in the computing area have been in a very crammed and seemingly disorganised manner, the result of the way that the long term volunteer looking after that area – John Tunbridge operates. Unfortunately the services of John are no longer available as he passed away in January 2021. The dedicated efforts of John to DIK and its operations over so many years is acknowledged. Fortunately, committee member, David Hunter, has stepped up to take on that role. David has undertaken a huge cleanup of the computing area. Work continues on that front and we look forward to a much more organised work area in the coming year.

    Promotion and Liaison Protocols

    The pandemic has not facilitated any presentations being given to clubs or the undertaking of any District RAWCS Open day during the year in contrast to previous years. The presence at the District 9510 District Conference in April 2021 was the first significant opportunity to meet many Rotarians in person. Otherwise liaison and promotion to Rotarians and others has largely been through their attendance at the warehouse with working bees and container loading days. 17 clubs and other organisations were involved in these activities.

    The DIK Facebook site continues to be regularly populated and is another significant avenue of disseminating information about DIK activities.

    Effective Shipping System

    COVID-19 pandemic restrictions have limited the amount of goods being shipped out due to lockdown restriction on personnel as well as the global impact on shipping. Over the year, only 3 containers have been sent while another two are near completion.

    Goods, mainly medical, have also been provided to individuals and organisations to go overseas in projects outside DIK. This has occurred on 5 occasions during the year for container projects to Ghana, Cambodia, Nigeria, Timor Leste and Congo.

    We have again supported many other Rotary clubs, other organisations and individuals locally and nationally with the supply of domiciliary and medical equipment, furniture and other items that has assisted needy individuals. Some 13 instances of this aid have occurred this year from DIK. We have developed a partnership with the Playford Community Fund, a local organisation that helps needy folk set up housing for them. Many of the items that we get offered but we cant really utilise, such as domestic furniture, are often needed by the Fund.

    Good Governance

    Formal lease documents have finally been received to cover the extension of our lease on the premises for a period of 6 years. Having a long term lease agreement will facilitate us being more able to undertake skylight repairs as well as commit to substantive effort and costs to other site improvements. Indeed, remediation of the skylights is a requirement of the lease. A substantial amount of that remediation work has been completed to date. However, access to volunteers and materials (particularly polycarbonate sheeting) has been limited by the Covid19 pandemic, so progress on the skylight remediation has not been as well as anticipated.

    Financially, DIK Central Region is in a very sound position. Financial figures for the operations at DIK provided by RAWCS show operating project line (RAWCS Project 54 2013-14) with an opening balance $48,898 and closing balance of $52,736.

    Our incoming courier costs continue to be minimal with the use of volunteer support from committee members and Rotary clubs in general, and more selective collection of goods. DIK is constantly looking at improving efficiency of operations and reducing costs to improve output of product. Good support from Rotary clubs is key to this financial position as well as physical operations at DIK.

    Costs for waste disposal continues to be minimised through a variety of measures. The regular weekly kerbside collection, along with free Council vouchers for hard waste disposal, have reduced our waste costs to effectively zero.

    The Royal Adelaide Hospital project (RAWCS Project 53 2013-14) opening balance was $1712 with a closing balance of $1712. The last two projects were shipped in the 2019-20 year. However, two projects are still experiencing restrictions in getting the goods to the required destinations – Kenya and Zambia.

    With DIK – Central Region’s Work Health and Safety Management System in place and implemented there has not been any injury claims or reportable incidents again this Rotary year.

    Sustainability of Operations

    A log-in process is in place at the warehouse facility for volunteers. For 2020-21, the tally of hours of DIK volunteering totals 3872 hours. This includes an estimated 409 hours of time in collection of goods from donors by Rotarians and 800 hours Rotary Club of Largs Bay in repairing computers and wheelchairs. The commitment of these volunteers to this work over so many years is quite extraordinary. The DIK committee input substantial time and effort which is not recognised fully in these attendance sheets. A summary of volunteer hours by club is included below.

    The support provided by clubs during working bees is a vital part of keeping our head above water in terms of physical management of goods on-site. Unfortunately, we have not had as many working bees at the warehouse facility from clubs this year compared to previous years. The DIK project is arguably one of the most dynamic programmes of Rotary in District 9510.


    This year has been another productive year in the life of DIK Central, primarily related to the provision of goods to SA Health for the COVID-19 pandemic. It has promoted the Rotary brand, highlighting the trust that the community has with Rotary. It has also showcased RAWCS and DIK capacity to undertake complex high-volume projects in a timely manner delivering humanitarian aid across the world.

    Even with the demand on resources and volunteers during the year, all this has been done safely and effectively with again no injuries to report. The DIK Central Committee and regular volunteers are to be commended on outstanding performance, persistence and dedication. I would also like to thank all other volunteers and supporting Rotary clubs who have assisted us in our DIK operations. We would not have been able to achieve what we have without this physical and financial support.

    We continue to provide valued humanitarian service to a great many needy communities throughout the world and aim to continue this service in the future both internationally and locally. We also provide a valuable environmental service in reducing landfill by utilising otherwise serviceable goods to those less fortunate.

    I look forward to another year at the helm of DIK and our further improvement of DIK operations and ongoing humanitarian service.

    Dave Cockshell

    Chair, Donations in Kind, Central Region

    July 2021