Local women chip in $15,000 to save carers program
TWO women have saved the region’s grand-carers program following a funding shortfall of $15,000 announced last month.
The program supports people who have become the primary carers of their grandchildren.
One of the donors, who put in $5000 and asked to remain anonymous, said she was moved by a conversation with the foundation’s chairman, John Callanan, when she heard of the plight of grandparents raising their grandchildren.
“Never having had children of my own but watching my friends juggle and struggle with raising kids, my heart went out to think of grandparents having to do it twice, after years of working and raising their own children and planning for retirement and dreams,” she said.
“Not only would that be hard enough, but the fact it could often be caused by their own children struggling with health, financial or other life setbacks, I knew I had to share what I could to try and make the journey a little easier for the families involved.”
Dinah from Byron Bay donated the remaining $10,000 needed to fill the gap.
She said she was moved by the “fabulous work of the Northern Rivers Community Foundation to give grants to those in need”.
The Northern Rivers Community Foundation deputy chair and managing director, Dona Graham, said these donations meant so much to the individual grandchildren who would benefit.
“These two women with their donations will enable (the foundation) to reach out and help 300 local grandchildren that we would have otherwise have had to refuse support,” she said.
The Northern Rivers Community Foundation has attracted the grand-carers program funding for more than eight years.
The annual funding of about $35,000, provided by the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, was reduced to $20,000 this year.
The Northern Rivers Community Foundation uses the funding to provide grand-carers with $50 vouchers.
“These 50 dollar vouchers don't sound like much but they go directly to the grandparent,” Ms Graham said.
"A lot of them are on a pension, so it's a constant struggle to find money for even the basics.”
Donations can be sent to the community foundation at PO Box 1426, Ballina 2478, or online at www.nrcf.org.au and selecting the ‘Donate tab’.
All donations over $2 are tax deductible.