Every year, in March and September, the Sisters of Charity Foundation provides grants of up to $15,000 to a wide range of incredible community projects and programs.

This year, for the first time in our 20-year history, the Foundation decided to shorten its September 2020 grant application period, in order to get funds to community groups who need them in as short a time frame as possible. A total of 104 applications were received by the closing date of 17 September. The Grants Allocation Committee made its decision in a much shorter time frame than usual, meaning that the most recent batch of successful organisations received their funding in late 2020, instead of 2021.

A snapshot of the projects

To help Australians through this – dare we say it – unprecedented year, a significant number of grants were earmarked for organisations tackling food insecurity or helping families negatively affected by COVID-19, such as CareWorks SunRanges’ food support programs. Another example is Dandelion Support Network, which is supplying essential nursery items to expectant parents impacted by COVID-19.

September 2020 Community Grants Program recipient organisations announced

Expectant parents negatively impacted by COVID-19 will receive essential items for their new arrival.

Employment opportunities for people living with disabilities is a major focus for our Foundation; so we are proud to support Hotel Etico, a social enterprise/accommodation venue that provides vocational training and life coaching to people with intellectual disabilities.

Another grant we’re excited about went to Hearts of Purple for its Operation Family Protect project, which provides victims of domestic violence with the Tek Safe Wearable Duress Alarm watch. If a threat materialises, its simple 2-step activation triggers an immediate coordinated response by police and designated contacts. The watch starts a live audio recording with a GPS/WIFI locator so the victim can be easily located, saving more lives.

RuffTRACK will be taking a group of at-risk young people to a cattle station near Goondiwindi, Queensland to provide them with mental health support, education, and a range of skills. The mentoring and work-readiness program also benefits bushfire- and drought-affected isolated elderly farmers by providing moral and emotional support, as well as physical assistance with welding, fencing, fire prevention and environmental repair works.

Partnering with EISS Super

2020 was a year of firsts. Seeing so many Australians and the community groups that support them in need inspired a search for a corporate partner to fund two grants. We’re so pleased that EISS Super, a not for profit industry fund run to benefit members, came on board with extra funding.

EISS Super is funding Family Inclusion Strategies in the Hunter’s Peer Parent Support and Advocacy Program, which provides support for parents and families whose children were removed and placed in care due to child protection concerns, or who are at risk of having children removed from their care. The program provides court support, phone line support, and morning teas and other peer-run group gatherings for parents and families.

September 2020 community grants program recipient organisations announced

Parents in the Hunter region of NSW will receive support and advocacy thanks to a grant made possible by EISS Super.

EISS Super is also funding Carevan Wagga, which helps those in the Wagga Wagga community experiencing food insecurity and disadvantage. Due to COVID-19 lockdown measures, Carevan’s pop-up meals service has now pivoted to a new model: frozen meals are prepared at a warehouse, then collected and distributed to those in need by local charities. EISS Super’s support will help cover electricity, telephone/internet and insurance expenses for Carevan’s warehouse in 2021.

List of successful Community Grant recipients

  • 300 Blankets – ‘Ice-olation’
  • ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) – ‘Working with Catholic Health and Catholic Social Services to Eliminate Modern Slavery’
  • Australian Association For Young People Who Stutter Ltd – ‘Confident Voices: My Share Project’
  • Autism MATES Inc – ‘Best MATES Animation’
  • Biala Ringwood – ‘Continuation of the Biala Ringwood Community Service for the Families of Young Disadvantaged Children’
  • Big Group Hug Ltd – ‘A Bundle of Care for Babies’
  • Carevan Wagga Inc – ‘Carevan Wagga’
  • CareWorks SunRanges Inc – ‘Food Support Programs’
  • Dandelion Support Network Inc – ‘Assisting families in need affected by COVID-19 with essential nursery items for their babies and children’
  • Devonport Chaplaincy Inc – ‘Food for Thought’
  • Doctors for Refugees Australia Ltd – ‘Doctors for Refugees Administrative Team Member’
  • Family Inclusion Strategies in the Hunter Inc. (FISH) – ‘Peer Parent Support and Advocacy Program’
  • Geelong Food Relief Centre Inc – ‘The Purchase of Fresh Fruit & Vegetables For Those In Need’
  • Hearts of Purple Ltd – ‘Operation Family Protect’
  • Hello Initiative – ‘Mobile Support’
  • Hornsby Connect Inc – ‘Provide food and groceries and a balanced and healthy diet to those in need’
  • Jesuit Refugee Service – ‘Food Bank Program’
  • LIVEfree Project – ‘Inspire: Connect, Re-Build and Restore’
  • Project Etico Australia Ltd – ‘Hotel Etico at Mount Victoria Manor’
  • RuffTRACK Ltd – ‘Traineeship Trip to Cattle Station near Goondiwindi, Qld’
  • St George Children with Disabilities Fund Inc – ‘Supporting children with severe and multiple disabilities, and their families’
  • Survivor’s R Us Inc – ‘Hearty Starts’
  • Sustain: The Australian Food Network – ‘Food Justice Initiative’
  • The Haven: Nepean Women’s Shelter Inc – ‘Supporting 6 women and their children through a 3-month stay at The Haven’

Congratulations to all our grant recipients, we can’t wait to see what you achieve in 2021!

About the Community Grants Program

Through the Community Grants Program we support initiatives that benefit disadvantaged, marginalised and socially isolated people in our community, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age or ability.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation offers two grant rounds every year. Our next round opens on 1 February 2021 – if you know a charity making a huge difference with limited resources please direct them to apply here.

How We Help

Each year we’re able to make a difference to thousands of people across the country with funds generously donated by compassionate Australians. We support initiatives that focus on benefiting the disadvantaged, marginalised and socially isolated people in our community.

Find out more