Without corporate, individual and government support, charitable organisations wouldn’t be able to achieve the work they do to help the community.
Hearts and Minds highlights the important work not-for-profit organisations are doing across WA. Without corporate, individual and government support, these charitable organisations wouldn’t be able to achieve the work they do to help the community.
There are more than a dozen charities in the Hearts and Minds community – Accordwest, Activ Foundation, Anglicare WA, Foodbank WA, Good Sammy, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Royal Flying Doctor Service, St Bart’s, St John Ambulance, Uniting WA, Variety WA, The Y, and zero2hero.
Include a Charity Week, from 4-10 September 2023, recognises that every person and organisation holds the key to changing lives and building the promise of a better tomorrow.
It’s about finding a cause you care about and seeing where you can leave a mark and a legacy to make a difference to people’s lives to make the community and the world at large a better place.
Providing food for WA’s hungry
Foodbank WA provides food and groceries to those who struggle to afford it and educates people about how to eat nutritious food, regardless of their budget.
Kate O'Hara, Foodbank WA’s CEO, said 208,000 households in Western Australia went hungry in the last 12 months. “We are working hard to change that each day. Everyone deserves access to regular healthy meals. It is a basic human right,” she said.
“In only eight months, Western Australian households have accessed food relief more than 115,000 times. By this time last year, that number was only 87,000.
“These numbers are significant but there’s one number we don’t know – and that’s how many people need help but haven’t reached out. Those are the families skipping meals to make ends meet, choosing bills over dinner, making sure their kids get something while they don’t.”
With rising living costs, the charity’s CEO is adamant that this number will grow. “In spite of our best efforts, we estimate that we need 50 per cent more food to provide enough for all the people seeking assistance,” Ms O'Hara said.
“To try and bridge this gap, we rely on the generosity of individuals, businesses, community organisations, schools and all levels of government. Together we can get food to people who need it.”
One way is through financial and food donations from individuals, workplace giving initiatives, and corporate contributions which provide the financial fuel that keeps Foodbank’s initiatives running strong.
Or, you can leave a bequest or endowment that can shape a legacy project that extends the impact far into the future. “Your support not only funds ongoing initiatives but ensure their sustainability for years to come,” Ms O'Hara said.
“A charity doesn’t exist to simply deliver services. The mission is to always do more, so it needs to be able to respond to the constantly changing needs in the community. Bequests and endowments offer additional financial flexibility to do exactly that."
The charity is also on the lookout for volunteers as well as people with specialised skills or professional expertise.
“If you’re looking to roll up your sleeves and get involved, volunteering is a fantastic way to make a difference. Whether it’s packing emergency relief hampers or assisting customers on the shop floor, your time on the ground means families have food on their tables,” Ms O'Hara said.
“Do you have specialised skills or professional expertise? Your talents can be a game-changer. Whether it’s rebuilding our website, helping us procure more produce and products, or providing other professional services, your contribution helps us do good, better.”
Helping WA youth out of mental ill-health
Youth mental health charity, zero2hero, led by Ashlee Harrison who founded the organisation in 2009 when she was 21 years old after a personal experience of suicide, said there are several generous and heroic supporters that have helped the Subiaco-based organisation.
“Chevron have recently come onboard as our empowerment partner, funding the expansion of two of our long form school-based programs across the state,” Ms Harrison said.
“We also have companies like Access Hire, Seacorp and Macquarie Bank that have very generously funded camp programs or regional expansion or Melville Toyota who have donated a van for us to use in delivering our school programs and camps.
“We are eager to work with corporates to find a partnership that supports them as well as us.”
Recognising that 75 per cent of mental health issues develop before the age of 25, zero2hero educates, engages and empowers young people to support and maintain their own mental health and prevent suicide in the community, which is a leading cause of death among young people.
“We operate in health promotion, prevention, and early intervention space. The majority of government funding supports treatment. Our work is only possible with thanks to very generous corporate and individual heroes donating their funds and time to support our programs,” Ms Harrison said.
“Our work is changing and improving lives and we welcome supporters to join our mission. Through our work, we have found a way to connect with young people that is authentic and real and it is working.”
There are many ways people can get involved with zero2hero. They can donate, become a corporate partner, fundraise, or volunteer in a number of ways, such as being a mentor on a youth camp.
zero2hero also hosts a corporate lunch and a ball every year, as well as a cape2cape trek.
Stay in the loop with what the not-for-profit sector is doing across WA with Hearts and Minds articles published weekly on Business News.