Yarra Giving Circle: Together we can make a difference

Purpose: The Yarra community supporting the wider community through donating time, goods and/or money, and raising awareness for causes.

The Yarra Giving Circle was founded in 2016 by a group of parents with a passion for philanthropy. Initially it provided an opportunity for the group to meet on a regular basis where each member could present their preferred charities, raise awareness and provide a monetary contribution. As a group we shared and learnt about so many worthwhile organisations while helping people in need both locally and worldwide.

In 2019 we evolved the Giving Circle to embrace a community based, local project. Bringing together the Yarra Community to support other parents and families in our community. We have been looking for an ongoing cause that we can work with providing financial support but also raising awareness, volunteering time, donations and ideas.

The Giving Circle 2019 became a ‘Community Links’ for Parents. Our Giving Circle team will encourage as many people as possible to come to meetings and to then work together on several fund raising events throughout the year.

The Yarra Foundation and some of Yarra Parents & Friends’ initiatives fundraise for the School. Community Links creates awareness & involvement for the students in supporting so many worthwhile causes. The Yarra Giving Circle will bring together our parent community to encourage involvement through support of worthwhile local community projects.

Eastern Health Foundation (EHF) was introduced to us by some members of the Giving Circle. There are several Yarra Valley Grammar ties with several Yarra Old Grammarians (YOG) working with EHF; Brett Coopersmith (YOG 1992) chairs the Advisory Board, Daniella Sorace (YOG 2003) is also on the Board and Claire Harrison (nee Nikakis YOG 1996) works for EHF in fundraising & communications.

EHF exists to support the work of each of their hospitals including Maroondah, Healesville, Box Hill, William Angliss. Whilst these public hospitals are government funded for every day running costs (staff, standard equipment, utilities etc), Eastern Health relies on the generous support of the community to provide the equipment and resources that are ‘above and beyond’ standard funding. These items and programs can make a huge difference in the lives of patients and their families.

Our support to EHF will start with supporting the ‘refurbishment of Maroondah Hospital’s two Inpatient Psychiatric Family Meeting Rooms, to create family friendly spaces that are welcoming, calm and safe for children.

In the longer term, there is a program called CHAMPS (CHildren And Mentally ill Parents) supporting children and families where a parent has mental illness. The children of parents with a mental illness are considered ‘at risk’. This program is acting not only as a support for these children but also as a method of early intervention. The program is aimed at children aged 8 - 12 years. Funding is needed to help these programs run ongoing 'Martial Arts as Therapy' sessions, Peer Kids Clubs and an Annual Family Fun Day.

There are many ways to be a part of our new Giving Circle ... attend meetings, organise donations, bring ideas to the table, donate time & money, attend events, be inspired to donate and bring together friends and family to support the cause ... together we can make a difference! The Yarra Giving Circle is an important part of the Yarra Parents & Friends Association.

Contact: Rosie Brown


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