The generosity of Australians

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A word from our Acting CEO, Brad Webb:

Ancient Greek storyteller, Aesop, said it best:

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted”

Australians are a very generous bunch: charities are gifted billions of dollars from people each year, and almost one third of our population donate their time through volunteering.

Samaritans is just one month into the annual Winter Appeal, and it humbles me that we’ve already received in excess of $80,000. By the end of winter, we expect to receive up to $120,000.

While the money is important and essential to keeping some of our programs running, it provides us with so much more than just funds. Fundraising also has the power to engage, inspire and empower the community around our mission. It builds wider public understanding about the issues people in our community are facing and gives them the ability to do something about it.

There are over 1000 people in our community who believe so strongly in the work that we do, that they have donated to us in the last year. These 1000 people trust that we will do the right thing by them, and by the community we are supporting. That belief and trust is what is so humbling.

Our Winter Appeal, and other appeals for donations, helps to build this understanding amongst the community and it also helps keep our programs running that receive little or no Government funding. Donations big and small allow us to make maximum impact to the communities we support.

It’s an empowering part of giving to know whose lives are changed by your generosity, so I thought I’d share a few services that are succeeding because of the donations we receive.

Donations support:

  • Young people facing homelessness through the Wickham Student Accommodation project. This service gives subsidised housing, mentorship and on-site support to youth who can no longer live at home and have often spent time in a crisis refuge or couch surfing.
  • People getting their lives back on track after leaving prison through our post release programs like Friendship House. Intensive support and short-term accommodation yields impressive outcomes for the people supported within this service; over 80% remain out of prison after they receive such support, much higher than the state average.
  • Locals needing emergency food and support through our Emergency Relief centres. The coordination of these centres, that see 13,000 locals each year, relies on generous donations
  • Grandparents raising their grandchildren through our GAPS peer support groups. Raising a grandchild is a unique and sometimes isolating position for people, and support groups are a crucial outlet for grandparents in similar situations to share friendship, stories and support.
  • People with a disability whose care needs may not be fully covered by their NDIS plan, ensuring we can offer the best care and support.

Thank you to the people who give to Samaritans as a one-off or regular donor – people from the parishes of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle, from the wider community, and from our own staff who give generously each fortnight through payroll giving.

No gift is too small and no gift is ever wasted. Together, we’re making a difference to the lives of locals in need.