22 February 2024

'Give where you live' for this year's Canberra Day

| Ryan Bourke
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The Hands Across Canberra team posing for a group photo

Just like last year, the cost of living crisis will be a key area of focus for the 2024 appeal. Photo: Hands Across Canberra.

Hands Across Canberra is gearing up for its 5th annual Canberra Day appeal, with organisers promising a multimillion-dollar program of events.

One of the most significant charity appeals in the Capital region, last year’s efforts saw Hands Across Canberra raise over $850,000 for various charities that support Canberra communities.

This year’s appeal will involve around 70 charities and dozens, if not hundreds, of businesses.

As part of the appeal, a series of events ranging from a charity cricket match to a new community fun run will feature across the city on Canberra Day on Monday, 11 March.

A brand new event, the Canberra Day Appeal Fun Run, is your chance to lace up your running shoes and embark on a run/walk around our picturesque Lake Burley Griffin.

Organised in partnership with Stromlo Running Festival, there will be a 2 km run, which is perfect for families, children and those who would prefer to walk, a 5 km run for those who would like more of a challenge and a 10 km run for regular runners and the serious athletes.

In addition to raising money, all Canberra Day events are designed to amplify and support the message of Canberra Day by starting conversations about the role that local charities play in uplifting the Canberra community.

It also encourages the public to ask themselves how they can contribute to that work.

READ MORE Charities handed major boost with Canberra Day Appeal raising $850,000

Hands Across Canberra was founded to provide a simple way for Canberrans to adopt more regular habits around philanthropy.

As 85 per cent of the donations made by Canberrans leave the territory, Hands Across Canberra is encouraging residents to “give where they live”.

It does so by providing Canberra charities with grants from its endowment fund, which is financed by the donations of Canberra residents and businesses.

Through this work, the organisation hopes to keep the wealth that is created locally within the local Canberra community.

The foundation also supports Canberra’s charity sector, providing businesses with the resources and logistical support needed to engage in philanthropic activities. It also works to build the capacity of donors and grant recipients to access and manage funds more effectively.

READ ALSO Why generosity will (and must) prevail in tough times at this Hands Across Canberra event

“The appeal allows charities and organisations across Canberra to access funds they haven’t budgeted for,” Hands Across Canberra CEO Peter Gordon says.

“That really allowed them to tackle the cost of living crisis last year in a way they never could have imagined. The more untied cash they have in this period, the better their chance of doing what they need to to support communities.”

Just like last year, the cost of living crisis will be a key area of focus for the 2024 appeal.

In particular, Peter says Canberra has experienced a significant rise in food insecurity, placing many of the city’s food pantry organisations in need of additional resources.

“We have seen demand [for food relief] increase by up to 75 per cent. The need for assistance is increasing but the systems just aren’t keeping up.”

Donations can be made via Hand Across Canberra – donors can make contributions of any size to either a specific charity of their choosing or to HAC’s endowment fund.

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