I had the YUKKIEST email today from someone who runs a similar project to ours. I won't mention who, but they basically provide kids in care and adults in crisis clothing packs, activity packs and toiletry packs. You'd think they'd be glad of some help right?
The tone of the email was really abrupt and pretty rude I thought. Basically it said that they couldn't see the point of another group doing the same thing they are doing, I believe the exact words were, 'copy' what they are doing.
Pity I'd never even heard of their group before I started this project!
The email went on to say that their kits were copyrighted and I'm not allowed to copy them, (I'd like to see the paperwork on that), it said that they were 100% for the kids etc and the person running the project pays all the bills (as do I!) because nothing should be taken away from the kids. It also said becoming incorporated would be too expensive (it's $117). It also said that people have copied 'their' kits and haven't done it well and they have received backlash for it! But they didn't ask to see what we are doing, didn't look at our website, fanpage, blog or even call me.
The email also went on to say that they serviced the area in which I live twice a year anyway (so pretty much, why am I bothering...), which made me wonder why the agencies here are crying out for backpacks, shoes, hats, towels etc on a regular basis.
The most annoying thing about this email was that I wrote to them after a couple of kids I have in care turned up with the items provided by them. I wrote to thank and praise them and asked if there was some way we could support or help each other.
This particular group sent out 5500 packs during the year, which is brilliant. But they pack very differently to us. We pack everything needed into one pack, they pack a separate drawstring bag each for activities, toiletries and clothing. They mark their clothing as ages and we mark ours in sizes, and I only make that distinction because the clothes the 10 year old child came with were way too big as they were a size 8.
Do these people not understand that becoming incorporated allows access to funding opportunities like the Woolworths grants, Commonwealth bank grants as well as Govt and non govt grants, included funds specifically for admin purposes!
I am sitting here shaking my head in complete disbelief that this group had nothing positive at all to say about what we are doing, no words of encouragement, or maybe, "how about you guys do the far north of the state and we'll do central and the south east". That would have been a wonderful idea and would allow both groups to really focus on what we are doing.
I'm just really annoyed and shocked and I guess naive to think that everyone I contact would want to show support.
On a much more positive note - I just got an email from someone who saw our site and who would like to look into becoming a drop off point and possibly help more with packing the bags in Brisbane, (this 'other' group that sent the yukky email are based in the South East, but the general public haven't heard of them).
Copyrighted packs! bah!
'Copy' their service! bah!
It's like I'm taking their job, but we aren't getting paid!!!! I'm mystified. Even if they'd been polite with a 'thanks, but we are busy with our own stuff, best of luck', I could have lived with that. But....!
I just don't get why people wouldn't want to work together for the kids sake? What is with that!?
I'd love to know what you think about this. Feel free to leave a comment. Maybe I'm more shocked than I should be?