When Margaret Chapman moved to Coffs Harbour, she decided she really wanted to help the less fortunate people of our community – so she launched a charity called Coffs Caring Community Inc. the charity, which provides grants to local community organisations, is now looking for new members to join its committee, so it can continue its good work.
Rob and I moved to Coffs Harbour about 6 years ago and soon became aware of problems such as family breakdowns, abuse and vandalism. We were motivated to ‘do something’ and began talking to local groups and individuals.
It seemed that many larger charities could not guarantee that donations would be spent locally, and people wanting to run small innovative projects could not attract any funding at all. We realised that we would have to set up a new charity if we wanted to make tax-deductible donations and ensure that these were used locally.
In 2008 I invited a small group of our acquaintances to form the first committee, but it took almost another year and a lot of hard work before Coffs Caring Community Inc. finally gained endorsement from the Australian Tax Office as a Deductible Gift Recipient.
The rules for Coffs Caring Community Inc. state: “The Association’s sole purpose is to assist women, families and young people living within the Coffs Harbour region and experiencing stress from factors such as poverty, neglect, violence, substance abuse, bullying and homelessness”.
The committee has a minimum of 7 members, and meetings are usually held every couple of months. We are in regular contact with each other via email and phone, so that decisions can be made any time.
> Achievements so far …
The first CCCi grant was made in June, 2008. It helped the Early Childhood Intervention Centre to run a ‘More than Words’ program to teach communication skills to families where at least one child had been diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Those families may still be benefitting from the skills and understanding gained during that course.
More recently, we have given $2,000 to Coffs Harbour Youth Radio Station, CHYFM, managed by Becky Cole and featured in the last issue of FOCUS. Our grant paid for some of the equipment needed to set up the second recording studio, where volunteers train young people in radio.
Another grant of $2,000 went to Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre. This group of fully qualified psychologists are already giving their own time to provide free counselling sessions and supervised counselling opportunities for 3rd year SCU Psychology students, while also trying to do their own fundraising! The CCCi money enabled them to purchase professional computer software urgently needed to help them maintain accurate records.
Coffs Caring Community Inc. has an annual membership fee of $2 and is open to all individuals who share our desire to build a stronger, more caring community. Some members are local business people or recent retirees, while others are already employed within established charities, youth organisations and welfare.
Because of our wide range of interests and expertise, many members have already found unexpected benefits from networking opportunities within our group.
All members are volunteers, so we have very few expenses and guarantee that ALL tax deductible donations will be spent on projects which help local people. So please contact me if you or your organisation would like to make a donation.
Should you prefer to remain anonymous, Coffs Caring Community Inc. has a Charitable Gift Fund account with the Banana Coast Credit Union in Park Avenue, Coffs Harbour. Please remember to leave a postal address if you need a receipt for the Tax Office.
> Working together, we really can make a BIG difference!
Coffs Caring Community Inc. makes one-off grants of up to $2,000 for projects likely to have flow on or long term benefits for the wider community.
We support early intervention programs, to gain the most benefit from the money available.
Funding is usually given to suitably qualified people to set up and organise group activities or training, rather than directly to individuals.
We are able to fund small projects that are unlikely to attract money from other sources. Once the success of such projects has been proven, it is more likely that the organisers will be able to get help from other sources.
Programs should build the self esteem of participants, as well as ongoing friendship and supportive networking within each group.
Grants may be used to purchase or hire equipment, pay for transport or to pay running expenses of group activities for a limited time.
A CCCi Funding Request Form is available through our website: www.coffscc.org.au and can be submitted electronically. Then it is circulated to the Funding Committee, as well as others who may be interested and qualified to comment on the application.
While we are seeking new applications and still have money available, the Committee has decided not to make any more grants until we find active members willing to join the committee and contribute their time, expertise and ideas.
A number of people have been on the committee since the group began and are unable to take on more responsibility. The role of President has remained vacant since I resigned 6 months ago, hoping to create an exciting opportunity for someone else.
Coffs Caring Community Inc. can only grow if we adopt new ideas, are given better publicity, attract younger members, and get meaningful support from the wider community.
Bernard Town, our Vice President, has recently updated and redesigned the website. This will make it easier for people to find us through Google and Facebook and should reach people with widely differing interests, backgrounds, experience and skills.
Becky Hammill, our wonderful Secretary, has just had her first baby and is planning to form a playgroup for new mothers and grandmothers, which I can’t wait to join!
As neither of us have other family living close by, we are excited by the prospect of supporting each other, meeting new people and having fun while fundraising.
Most people want to make friends, share their stories and help each other. Towards the end of this year, Coffs Caring Community Inc. will be given daytime access to a beautiful new ‘Meeting Place’, where members can raise money for Coffs Caring Community by organising activities for small groups.
Perhaps you would like to learn line dancing or teach yoga, plan to form a craft group or a book club, or love cooking and like to buy or learn how to grow really fresh vegetables – even if you just want to meet new people.
PLEASE CONTACT US!
Margaret Chapman: 6651 3667 email@example.com
Bernard Town (Vice President): 6651 3667 firstname.lastname@example.org