4 March 2020

Hands Across Canberra's March 11 giving day a major boost for Canberra's vulnerable

| Genevieve Jacobs
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Hands Across Canberra

Hands Across Canberra has launched its Canberra Giving Day appeal. Photo: Michelle Kroll, Region Media.

In an Australian capital city first, Canberra’s peak support body for vulnerable locals, Hands Across Canberra (HAC), has announced the region’s biggest-ever fundraising day. They’re asking us all to give where we live for the neediest Canberrans on March 11.

Canberra Giving Day will support more than 250 local charities and organisations, all of them working at a grassroots level here at home in the ACT.

“For me, it’s a day of reflecting on those who are doing it tough in ways most of us can’t imagine,” HAC chair Di Kargas Bray says. “If we can help by raising money we can work with the charities on the ground across the ACT.”

After a difficult summer, that assistance will help many who have suffered in the fires, but also many others in Canberra who never get a fair go in life, and who are engaged in a constant struggle to survive and thrive.

“This is huge for Canberra as we will be the first capital city to roll out a 24-hour call-to-arms campaign for a community foundation in Australia,” says Peter Gordon, CEO of HAC.

“And there is no better cause for a 24-hour giving day. Hands Up for Canberra Giving Day will see over 250 local charities and organisations receive the generous donations of those who support us on 11 March.”

The goal is to motivate Canberrans to donate on or before the giving day on March 11 and raise much-needed funds for the community sector.

A number of notable local Canberrans and businesses are already getting behind the cause including Joe Roff, the UC Canberra Capitals, the Brumbies and Robert de Castella.

Peter points out that while all the charities that work with Hands Across Canberra are doing worthy and important work, some enjoy a higher profile than others. That means that, sadly, not all charities enjoy the same level of community support and awareness, no matter how important their cause might be. This is where HAC fills the gaps by providing funds to the lesser-known causes.

“In a time when so many of us have been deeply affected by the bushfires, it is important to remember that the 250 charities that Hands Across Canberra helps deal with vulnerable people every day and so this appeal recognises that local issues remain important.

“We also oversee an endowment fund for Canberra and by growing this fund, we ensure there is an ongoing supply of regular grants to not-for-profits, both now and in the future.

“By putting your hand up for Canberra and donating to the Hands Up for Canberra Giving Day 2020, you will be helping to provide a sustainable, long-term source of funding for local charities and organisations. So please give where you live as every donation makes a difference.”

According to Di Kargas Bray, “The biggest thing is building good social capital in our community by thinking of others, even if only for one day”.

“The end result is that everyone gets a sense of belonging. We take belonging for granted but when you don’t belong everything falls away – your health, your connections, perhaps even your family. Canberra Giving Day is a way of saying we’re all in this together.”

There are many ways to get involved: you can donate via the website, and businesses or social groups can also donate and encourage staff to donate by matching the funds they raise. HAC wants everyone to share and like their social media to help spread the giving message.

To find out more ways to get involved or to donate visit CanberraDay.org.au.

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