“Karinya House is the mother or the brother, the parents, the family support these women don’t have,” says Jo Saccasan from Canberra’s much-loved support service for pregnant and parenting women.
As Karinya’s first matched giving day kicks off on Sunday, they’re asking for your help to keep that vitally important work going.
After 22 years of service, Karinya is seeking to deepen and broaden the community support that’s intrinsic to the work they do.
“Community funding is very important for us because it speaks to the women we are supporting,” Jo says. “It tells them that they are recognised and supported by the community in which they live, that people in this town think they matter and their babies matter.”
Karinya’s work is overwhelmingly people based. A woman who comes to Karinya as a resident is supported by two caseworkers and a health professional for complete coverage of the social, emotional and medical issues she may be dealing with.
“We work together so there is someone walking alongside that woman whatever journey she wants to take,” Jo says. Caseworkers help the woman to develop a plan that she has control over, to help her achieve whatever aims she has, from transitioning through a period of crisis to safety, to secure housing, re-engaging more fully with the community and moving forward with her life.
The model means that Karinya’s main costs are staffing. Last year the organisation ran an operating deficit to meet the needs of their 11 residents and the 30 women who are part of their community outreach. For 2019/2020, Karinya House has budgeted to provide 29,000 service hours. The aim is to raise $33,000 and match that with generous corporate support to fund 1000 hours of service.
One of the solutions, arrived at with the help of their corporate partners, is a matched giving day to be held on Sunday, September 29.
“We have wonderful friends in the community but we need to grow the Karinya Village,” Jo says. “A matched giving day means that we can make the corporate dollar go that bit further and also engage new people with what we do.”
Several businesses have already signed up as matched giving corporate partners including Corkhill Brothers, Riverview Projects, Clark Keller, Connect3i recruitment and Successful Alliances bookkeeping.
“We’re asking all our corporate partners to share the news and let people know why they support Karinya,” Jo says. “We want them to encourage their clients, service partners and networks across the region so that if they donate $5 this week, it becomes $10, $50 becomes $100 and so on …
“We’ve set the fundraising date for the 29th, but anyone who donates online will go into the matching pool. If we can raise $33,000, the matching fund guarantees will turn that into $66,000, and make a huge difference in funding the service for the current financial year.”
Karinya’s services are currently operating at capacity after moving into new premises recently and Jo says the community’s support of these women, their babies and children has a huge impact on their future.
“In some ways it’s not a big number but they are so important to us. We are providing that leverage for them to use their own knowledge and learning and wisdom to negotiate their current situation and change it for the better.”