We received a letter this week from Bill Campbell OAM. Bill is the founder and chairman of the William Campbell Foundation which provides foster care services in Shoalhaven and the Illawarra. Bill was writing to let us know that one of the first ever PIF Houses had burned down after ferocious fires that began on New Year’s Eve.
The house that PIF built for Bill in 2000 gave his Foundation its start, the house, based in Nowra Hill, was a home to the first six children that came under its care. Bill had sadly been separated from his sister when he went into the care system and the Foundation focuses on keeping siblings together if they cannot live with their parents.
Since then, the Foundation has grown to currently looking after 114 children spread throughout the community and Bill wanted to thank PIF for the support that we gave him during the early years. “It was through this support that we were able to begin our long and arduous journey to achieve the results that we have attained for so many children that passed through our care,” he wrote.
Bill’s story is, of course, only one of many that suffered during the devastating fires across New South Wales and Victoria. Thankfully most of the fires are now under control, but the reconstruction and rebuilding of communities, houses and infrastructure has only just begun.
As a charity that works alongside the property and construction industry to reduce youth homelessness, PIF will be actively seeking ways to participate in the recovery and rebuilding of impacted areas. We are talking to our supporters about ways that the industry can be involved. We will also be actively looking for projects where we can bring our building and project management expertise to help rehouse young people who may now be homeless, or rebuild the infrastructure that supports homelessness in the regions.
Finally, to achieve a co-ordinated response, PIF will support the Business Council of Australia’s Community Rebuilding Initiative.
Bill’s letter, although it conveyed sad news, was also optimistic. His Foundation is one of the lucky ones as the house was insured and he is confident that they will have a new beginning, “although the memories of our first house will forever remain,” he wrote.
We have naturally offered to help with any rebuilding work that Bill might need, because new beginnings is what PIF is all about.