Negativity over Pay It Forward closure is not warranted: founder

BILLS ADDING UP: Pay It Forward founder and dirtector Karlie Irwin.
BILLS ADDING UP: Pay It Forward founder and dirtector Karlie Irwin.

The following was posted by Karlie Irwin as a comment on the Central Western Daily’s website ...

UPON seeing today’s story I will only be addressing this publicly once.

I have seen questions raised and some confusion and I understand the need to ask questions, however some stories do not capture all of the details or can be read incorrectly.

Firstly, let me say that this charity has been successfully assisting our community for two years and started from a garage, so to be where we are today it has been run very successfully in our opinion to still be here two years later.

Secondly, I wonder if people are actually really aware of what it costs to run something like this. We have volunteered and worked seven days a week at times to fundraise and rally for Pay It Forward (PIF).

Thirdly, the running costs are what they are: $2250 rent per month, $529 per month insurances, $229 per month Icare volunteer insurance, $50 per month for Onwatch Security, $100 antivirus, Xero and Gsuite, $300 per month phone and internet, $500 per month electricity, approximately $500 per month for fuel costs, $2000 per month to run the crisis unit.

These are just the basics that need to be paid every month. This has not included any extras that come in along the way.

I am sad to see some negativity but we do not feel we need to defend the daily operations and costs to anyone, especially when we have never asked for anything more from our community than what PIF needs, and we all volunteer full time.

To clear up this electricity and phone: the figures stated in the story are not what it costs to run each month. It is a few bills combined because we have not been able to fundraise enough to cover bills as they come in, so they get on top of each other and start to add up.

All the other running costs – rego for vehicles, repairs and maintenance on vehicles, repairs and maintenance for our lawn equipment, servicing that equipment each month (anywhere from $90 per hour, we have six pieces of equipment), spare parts when they get damaged – we do have a lot of overheads for a not-for-profit of this size.

I would like to ask those with negative thoughts to please consider all of these factors before assuming we are doing anything wrong.

Pay It Forward prides itself on its integrity, honesty and transparency to our community. We welcome anyone to look at the running costs.

If at anytime the community has questions I am onsite at Glenroi Avenue until full closure and am more than happy to answer any questions you may have, however I will not feel the need to defend this program.

If you yourself have run an organisation like this and have positive and valuable feedback to offer please do come and see us.

Lastly, we are in no way being disrespectful to our landlord. It is our responsibility to adhere to the terms of the lease.

The building has been wonderful for PIF to help those in need and at the end of the day the landlord has his own business and financial responsibilities, so I ask that we not attack a landlord who has not done anything wrong.

PIF have the utmost respect for our landlord, it is as simple as this, we just cannot afford the building any longer and that is not his fault.

Thank you.

Karlie Irwin, founder and director of Pay It Forward