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Emergency Grants –funding the front line

April 23, 2020

 The Give Where You Live Foundation has issued emergency grants to eight key organisations that are delivering vital services during this time of crisis.

The Foundation has made these grants directly from its investment corpus meaning they are over and above the grants the Foundation will issue this financial year.

It was important for us to act in a responsive and urgent way,” said the Foundation’s CEO Bill Mithen. “We have been quite public about our view that philanthropy should be accessing extra funds at this time of crisis and need. Unprecedented times should mean unprecedented actions

The Give Where You Live Foundation has distributed extra funds equivalent to approximately 10% of its investments.

Give Where You Live has partnered in these emergency grants with the Anthony Costa Foundation who have matched the grants dollar for dollar. Each of the eight organisations will, therefore, receive $60,000 allowing them to operate through the current peak in demand for their services but also continue past the crisis.

Chair of the Anthony Costa Foundation, Rhonda Arnott said, “The Anthony Costa Foundation was delighted to partner with Give Where You Live on these grants. We have a very strong relationship with Give Where You Live and were confident in their assessments of the grant recipients and knowledge and understanding of the current need.

The emergency grants have been awarded to support eight organisations whose services have become even more critical in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Five of the organisations are part of the emergency food network. These organisations have become even more important at this time with emergency food supplies diminished and agencies stretched. These organisations have worked under difficult circumstances, and have had to rethink their volunteer engagement and service delivery models and be creative in accessing food supplies:

  • Drysdale Family Support – To provide food security for those on the Bellarine Peninsula who do not have access to appropriate and nutritious food through support of a local Foodbank.
  • FeedMe Bellarine – To collect spare food and excess produce and share it with the community on the Bellarine and beyond who need it, no questions asked.
  • Geelong Food Relief Centre Inc – To fight food insecurity across the wider Geelong region by sourcing and distributing adequate fresh, nutritious and relevant food to organisations that support vulnerable individuals and families in need.
  • Norlane Community Initiatives – To address issues of food security, health and well-being and employment and education through the delivery of five everyday small-scale food initiatives within walking distances of people’s homes in Norlane.
  • OneCare Geelong – To support those experiencing food insecurity in Geelong through the provision of prepared meals and pantry items.

The final three organisations are working with vulnerable populations whose vulnerability has increased due to the Coronavirus pandemic. These organisations are providing vital services and have had to adapt their delivery models so they can continue to deliver their services in the current conditions.

  • Foundation 61– To build the resilience of Geelong men facing life-controlling issues such as addiction, through residential care and rehabilitation.
  • The Sanctuary Counselling Centre – To build resilience for those experiencing a life-challenging illness and bereavement (their carers/family) to prevent mental health issues, family breakdown and education disengagement.
  • Uniting VicTas Ltd – To find homes for those who are homeless and assist people who are at risk of homelessness to maintain their accommodation though advocacy and specialist expertise.

The Give Where You Live Foundation is also working to distribute its annual Community Grants faster. Grants would normally be distributed in late July early August. However, the 2020 Community Grant round has been brought forward to respond to COVID19. All applications will be assessed and funds distributed by the end of May.

Fundraising for the Foundation continues but it is expected that in excess of $500,000 will be distributed in the Community Grant round adding to the emergency grants, $120,000 in community connection grants and $100,000 in Pitch Up grants that the Foundation has already distributed this financial year.