The Fleurieu Community Foundation held its annual Christmas drinks as a thank you to its 100 Club members and key supporters on Monday, December 2, at the Chiton Rocks Surf Life Saving Club.
Foundation chair Brad Butler thanked donors and key supporters and acknowledged the considerable growth that the Fleurieu Community Foundation has seen after nine years of operation.
"Since commencing in October 2010 we have distributed $160,000 in grants back to the community across the Fleurieu. Of that $160,000 in disbursements since commencement, $90,000 has been through the Back to School program," Brad said.
The Back to School Program provides funds in the form of $50 vouchers, which are distributed according to need through the schools across the Fleurieu region.
The Back to School Program is 85 per cent funded by the Sydney Myer Fund.
"Although the Back to School Program is a major part of our operation the Stay in Sport grants and Youth in Arts grants are modeled on the Back to School program and support young people to remain engaged in our community," Brad said.
The Fleurieu Community Foundation has worked in partnership with several other groups, which include The Florence Wilckens Award granted annually from a contribution from the estate of Florence Wilckens, The Wally Bradley Award supported financially by the Rotary Club of Encounter Bay and a new award, the Val Ball Award, honouring the life of Val, who was the last Mayor of the old Strathalbyn Council. This award is financially supported by the Rotary Club of Strathalbyn
The last 12 months also saw the Fleurieu Community Foundation make its first Yankalilla Young Persons award with a $1000 award to a youngster to support his aeronautical studies.
"However, the last year has not just been about financially supporting the youth of our community. Recent grants for disability organisations and the Community Garden have been significant. Although we still operate with a very small Board supported by some additional volunteers, we seem to have achieved a great deal in 2019, but more importantly have huge plans for 2020," Brad said.
"Homelessness has been a significant focus for the Fleurieu Community Foundation over the last five years.
"Acknowledging this focus; our biggest project in 2020 will be to financially support the employment of a Homelessness Early Intervention Officer. The Homelessness Early Intervention Officer will put significant demands on the finances of the Foundation and so you can definitely expect a few fundraising drives in the coming year."
The Homelessness Early Intervention Officer is a joint partnership program with the annual contribution from the Foundation being $45,000 for the next two years. The balance of the funds will come from the Wyatt Trust and with the employment costs being met by Junction Australia.
"We believe that Community Foundations are uniquely placed to understand and respond to the immediate and long term needs of a specific geographic community.
"As such the Fleurieu Community Foundation is joining with the other three South Australian Community Foundations to try to promote the value of such organisations to new areas. Kangaroo Island, the Murraylands, the Riverland and some of our metro areas are all geographic areas that we are planning to talk to."