The Canberra Day Appeal “Hands Up 4 CBR” Giving Day has raised $640,000 for local charities and community organisations, surpassing its $500,000 goal on the first day.
Launched by Hands Across Canberra (HAC), the second year of the region’s largest charitable fundraising appeal well surpassed the $130,000 raised in 2020, helping over 60 local charities and community organisations. HAC solely works with Canberra charities and community organisations, ensuring that the money they receive goes directly towards local people in need.
Peter Gordon, CEO of Hands Across Canberra, said that he has been humbled by the community’s response since announcing the Canberra Day Appeal.
“In years to come,the Canberra Day Appeal will be an institution, but institutions have to start somewhere. We have had a very modest start to the Canberra Day Appeal concept last year but this year we’ve really proven that it can work,” he said.
“This year we have 60 charities involved and next year we’ll have 160.”
Over the 48-hour period, more than 4,000 donations were received. One large donation was directly made to Raw Potential, on behalf of the Chappell Foundation for $75,000 and Canberra Data Centre for $25,000 at the kick-off event on Tuesday 9 March.
Raw Potential aims to empower disadvantaged youth by providing non-judgemental support and opportunities, including legal advice, healthcare, rehabilitation and counselling. Since the charity’s beginning in 1986, over 10,000 children have received support.
Chair of Raw Potential Canberra, Paul Kane, said the donations they received will be “life changing”.
“It will be life changing for about 126 of Canberra’s at risk and vulnerable kids,” he said.
“Hands Across Canberra are doing a great job for all charities across Canberra … During COVID they were the guiding light for many of the charities that were worried about whether it’s sensible to stay open or go into our own form of lockdown.
“They gave us the confidence to continue to trade and of course that was the absolute right decision because that’s when the kids needed us the most.”
Zango also made a $10,000 donation to the Leukemia Foundation’s ‘World’s Greatest Shave’ which saw Peter Gordon shave his head at the event. Mr Gordon was extremely happy with the initial target but was encouraged to stretch it further as the charities were extremely motivated to keep on going and raise as much as they could in the limited timeframe.
“The message for Canberrans is the majority of Canberrans are fine; we’re healthy, wealthy, living in very connected city but there are some people who aren’t connected,” he said.
“They don’t have a sense of belonging, there are people who don’t have a home to sleep in tonight. There are some people with disability that the system just isn’t caring for, there are women who are legitimately running away from terror and they need somewhere to go.
“There are 300 charities in Canberra, all of which do great work and all of which need a lot of help. The more that we connect the people in Canberra with those 300 charities, suddenly we’re better off.”
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