Former Stawell resident Mitchell Collins is continuing to make a difference within the community.
Mr Collins is studying a double bachelor of law-arts degree majoring in international relations and minoring in international politics.
Whilst working throughout Melbourne CBD, Mr Collins observed people sleeping rough with a loyal companion by their side and the all too familiar sight of these dogs being cold and hungry.
In May 2020, he formed Diggin' In for one reason - to promote the health of a human's best friend doing it tough on the streets.
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Since then, Diggin' In has provided food and clothing to countless dogs, formed partnerships with primary health service 'The Living Room' and provided essential services to housing commission homes during COVID-19 lockdown.
Diggin' In goes to known locations and drops off food and any other supplies to those in need on the streets.
Mr Collins said the service wasn't restricted to just dogs, but owners as well.
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"Diggin' In is also able to engage in meaningful conversations withthose experiencing homelessness, empowering them in the process," he said.
"I am hoping to branch out beyond the Melbourne CBD and Diggin In' is currently seeking donations and expressions of interest to form new partnerships to help make this dream a reality.
"Diggin' In will continue to be there for those dogs who don't have a voice or choice and won't stop until all the canine friends are fed."
Mr Collins set up his first rural partnership with Itsa Steel where owners Mick and Veronica Monaghan jumped at the opportunity to get on board.
"We first heard about Diggin' In from one of our employee's Josh who is Mitch's brother," Mrs Monaghan said.
"Without hesitation, we suggested becoming a donation site with all donations going directly to Diggin' In."
Mr Collins was first recognised for his passion within the community when he was awarded the inaugural Chris and Marli Tilley Scholarship after completing year 12 at Stawell Secondary College in 2015.
The Chris and Marli Tilley Scholarship fund was established by their four children in 2015 to assist Stawell Secondary College students with the financial costs of tertiary education.
The selection criteria are: demonstrated capacity for leadership, a desire to return to rural Victoria at the completion of studies, personal financial circumstances and service to the community.
Itsa Steel will be accepting donations for Diggin' In or contributions can be made at www.gofundme.com/f/dig-in-donations.
More information about the appeal can be found on Facebook www.facebook.com/digginin19.
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