Hands Across Canberra launched a recovery appeal on Wednesday 10 June, after its research showed 97% of Canberra’s charities had been financially impacted following the bushfire season and COVID-19.
The community foundation group works with over 250 local community organisations and conducted a three-month survey which found 83% of the sector had been “significantly impacted” in that time.
The appeal, which launched on Wednesday morning, already has over 35 charities signed up to be involved.
Technology for Ageing and Disability ACT (TADACT) will be taking part in the appeal, as community engagement manager Trudy Taylor said the not-for-profit organisation had taken a huge hit in recent months.
“We have basically had to cancel all our community engagement and fundraising activities,” she said. “Fundraising makes up one third of our income, so we have had a major financial hit during this time.”
The organisation specialises in customising equipment for those with disabilities and older people with special needs, servicing between 350 and 400 families per annum.
Ms Taylor said it would have a devastating impact if the niche service could not continue to help those in the community.
“Our service is a very bespoke one as most of our clients are those who can’t find equipment for them on the shelves,” she said.
“Our staff and volunteers have been doing this for a really long time and they have a broad knowledge of the disability sector.”
Hands Across Canberra (HAC), in collaboration with the Snow Foundation and John James Foundation, had previously created a rapid response round of grant funding worth $500,000 in March this year.
HAC CEO Peter Gordon said it become apparent that more needed to be done.
“Our message is simple, if you are in a position to help and donate, please do. It will make such a difference to many charities who are struggling to keep their doors open, let alone offer support to those who need it,” he said.
“Our appeal has been welcomed by the community sector, with over 35 organisations already signing up to drive their own fundraising efforts under the Canberra recovery appeal banner.”
Donations can be made to single charities or the whole appeal at the Hands Across Canberra website; handsacrosscanberra.org.au
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