The generosity of Australians, the widespread celebration of Australia Day and the rapidly
increasing influence of social media are the ingredients which have spawned a project to assist Australian charities.
FOR AUSTRALIA DAY is an initiative designed to raise awareness of, and funds for, several charities – and all while people are embracing the spirit of the national day of celebration.
FOR AUSTRALIA DAY founder Matt Want said today the initiative was intended to provide an opportunity for all Australians to give much needed funds to a number of deserving charities, while celebrating Australia Day on Thursday 26 January 2012
Inspired by the outpouring of support that Australians showed for each other during the Queensland, NSW & Victoria floods in January 2011, FOR AUSTRALIA DAY encourages Australians, wherever they are at home or abroad, to celebrate Australia Day in their usual way. But Matt Want said their celebrations should be sponsored!
“It’s really very simple – in the lead up to Australia Day, participants can register their celebration, activity or event on the My Cause website at www.mycause.com.au/mycause/raise_money/event.php?id=768 and seek friends & family to sponsor them to celebrate Australia Day,” he said.
“For example, if you’re hosting an Australia Day BBQ, why not get friends & family to sponsor you to cook the BBQ? Anyone coming to your BBQ can donate, and even get their friends and family to sponsor them to attend.”
Matt Want said all funds raised would be divided evenly amongst the four selected charities: Aussie Helpers, Fighting Chance Australia, Shake It Up Australia Foundation and SMILE Foundation.
“There’s nothing easier than doing whatever it is you would normally do, and no better reason to celebrate Australia Day than knowing your celebrations are all in the name of a good cause,” he said.
“Whilst there are hundreds of wonderful charities throughout Australia providing worthwhile assistance to many people, we have selected four non-government and non-denominational organisations that have inspired us through their contributions to a broad cross section of the Australian community.”
Shake It Up Australia Foundation’s Manager – Commercial & Events, Amanda Gorvin said “The For Australia Day initiative has the perfect ingredients for Australians to get involved and support a good cause – we all know how to throw a BBQ and get our mates together for a laugh. We have great camaraderie here, why not do what’s normal to us and raise money for some great Aussie charities at the same time. For Australia Day is a great initiative, we’re proud and honoured to be a part of their first year”.
The initiative is promoted via social media channels Facebook www.facebook.com/foraustralia and Twitter via the handle @ForAustraliaDay. Participants are encouraged to share their Australia Day celebration plans and ideas and FOR AUSTRALIA DAY will post information and stories on the inspirational charities involved.
About the selected charities:
Operated by volunteers across six states, Aussie Helpers has the goal “helping to fight poverty in the bush”. Since it began in 2002, Aussie Helpers has assisted more than 3,000 farming families affected by drought, floods and various other hardships.
Since 2002, the 3,000 assisted families have received:
- More than 300 tonnes of groceries & 4,000 tonnes of stock feed.
- More than 20 tonnes of personal hygiene and pamper packs.
- Thousands of toys and sporting goods.
- Hundreds of face to face counseling visits for depressed farming people
- Ongoing rebuilding assistance to farming families affected by the January 2011 floods.
FIGHTING CHANCE AUSTRALIA
FIGHTING CHANCE is a youth-led not-for-profit organisation which provides employment opportunities and life experiences for young people with physical disabilities in Australia. Their project represents a new approach to disability employment in that they create employment opportunities for people with physical disabilities. They incubate and facilitate a range of profit-making businesses which are designed, from the ground up, to suit the needs and abilities of each disabled employee.
- 20% of all Australians have a disability (4 million people), including over 420,000 people in Australia right now aged between 15-24 years with a severe or profound physical disability.
- 45% of disabled Australians are living below or near the poverty line.
- Just 31% of people with a disability participate in the workforce, compared to 83% of people without a disability. The employment rate drops to just 15.2% for people with a profound physical disability.
SHAKE IT UP AUSTRALIA FOUNDATION
Shake It Up Australia Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2011 to promote and focus on Parkinson’s Disease research in Australia. It is a community funded charity, leaning on its partners and supporters to help reach its goals of delivering better treatments, prevention strategies and ultimately finding a cure in the very near future.
In Australia in 2010-11 it is estimated that there were:
- 64,044 people living with Parkinson’s Disease
- 10,497 new cases of Parkinson’s Disease
- 20% of people affected are of working age
- Between 1,299 and 1,692 deaths due to Parkinson’s Disease
The SMILE Foundation is a ground-breaking national charity that was established to improve the quality of life of children suffering from a rare disease or condition. SMILE provides financial assistance to families of affected children as well as supporting research relating to rare childhood medical conditions. SMILE is also committed to raising awareness of rare childhood diseases. Through its Family Relief Program, SMILE has given over 550 grants to Australian families who often don’t receive any other financial help.
In Australia today there are:
- Over 9,000 rare diseases affecting a staggering 1.2 million Australians
- 400,000 of the affected Australians are children.