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The Big Issue

Who would have thought seventeen years could slip by so soon. The first time I bought The Big Issue, I was pregnant, riding my pushy in the pouring rain, and I noticed a man standing in a raincoat near the station selling something.

Amazed at his work ethic, I took a look, and that is where my journey with The Big Issue began. I’m now proud to say the short person gestating seventeen years ago became a tall person who now hunts out The Big Issue wherever he can.

The Big Issue is one of Australia’s oldest and most successful social enterprises, providing anyone who walks through their door with equality of opportunity. They help people to help themselves by using a commercial model of selling magazines where the vendor retains half of the sale value.

It’s worth remembering that it could be anyone of us in need at any time, there are so many factors in life that are out of our control; many factors the product of luck. And luck can be a biatch sometimes!

This year is The Big Issue’s 20th birthday ~Happy Birthday!!!~. In those twenty years on the streets: more than 6500 people have sold the magazine; more than 10 million magazines have been sold, generating $23 million in income for vendors; and who could possibly put a true figure on the self-esteem and dignity they have been a part of growing.

But if you are an economic figures person, this one is rather impressive. With approximately 540 vendors working across Australia annually, an approximate total annual economic benefit of $11 million is provided to the wider community through a reduction in demand for social services such as hospitals, welfare support, emergency services and correctional facilities. That’s $11 million annually.

The Big Issue is just super amazing in their own right, but it’s also their birthday, so give them a hand. Head to their site, find your local vendor, purchase their 2017 calendar, and gift it to someone else this Christmas to spread love.

Click Here for the Big Issue Calendar

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Follow Jacqueline Haines:
Social entrepreneur who champions sexual and reproductive health and rights. Founder of Vävven.

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