As a not-for-profit leader in the provision of high quality disability, specialist education and aged care services, fundraising is a core element of our business.
Without generous public and individual support, Villa Maria Catholic Homes could not create or deliver the special projects that really transform the lives of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
As an organisation, we want to build inclusive, compassionate and sustainable communities, but we cannot do it alone. And we don’t need to. The passion and generosity of the public – our volunteers, stakeholders, donors, sponsors, and corporate partners – continue to impress and empower us.
In recent years, with your help, VMCH has achieved many life-changing projects.
A stand-out initiative was the 2016 Make A Splash appeal. Over $400,000 was raised in 12 months through charity events, donations and a bequest. The focus of the appeal was to renovate the warm-water pool at St Paul’s College, our specialist school in Kew. This much-loved facility, built in the 1970s, is used by children and adults with a disability. Due to the generosity of our supporters, our vision to create a state-of-the-art facility is now a reality.
Other important projects now exist due to your vision and compassion. Over $33,000 was raised in 2015-2016 to create a sensory garden at Austin Street, Victoria’s first purpose-built residence for young people with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). With no government funding, we asked for donations to help fund the redesign and landscaping of the existing outdoor space. The result is stunning. The 10 Austin Street residents can now easily access and enjoy a water feature with fish, surrounded by specially-selected plants, and another private garden in the spa room.
As detailed on page 11, the Young Carer Mentor Program was the focus of our 2016 Christmas Appeal. In as little as two months, almost $40,000 was raised via donations, and that program is now secure for another year. This means young carers in the Hume of Victoria will continue to be matched with local mentors who provide them with emotional support and social opportunities.
‘Ordinary’ people can have an incredible impact when they see a need in the community and take it upon themselves to make a difference. People such as Lisa Buxton and Ariel Lakman. The Melbourne couple organised 50 people in 2015 to walk around Manhattan in the New York Lap4Life fundraiser. They hoped to raise $10,000 for St Paul’s College Build a Bus appeal, helping children with disabilities get to and from the school. Ultimately, the group smashed their fundraising target, raising almost $29,000 in 11 hours. Other individuals, such as students from St Columba’s College in Essendon, raised $1,042.55 in 2016 for the same appeal.
Bequests are also a vital aspect of our ability to create or fund new projects. For instance, a generous bequest made by the late John Edward Dineen kick-started the Make a Splash appeal. John Dineen was a member of the Brighton Icebergers and his love of swimming will continue in his legacy.
In all of this, what drives us is, the people we support: adults and children with disabilities; the aged; and the vulnerable.
We look forward to announcing our major appeal for 2017, and embarking on a fresh, new initiative to transform the lives of people who need it the most.
Transform a life and make a donation to VMCH.
Complete our donation coupon on the back cover, call 1800 036 377 or visit: http://vmch.com.au/get-involved/make-a-donation/