The Ingham Community Kindy Flood Recovery by Sharon

Community Landscapers for Kindy

Community Landscapers for Kindy

“My name is Sharon Cislowski and I’m presently the secretary (and a parent) at the Ingham Community Kindergarten and Preschool, in North Queensland, Australia and our kindergarten grounds were affected by floodwaters during recent floods.

What is devastating is that we had just completed a $50 000 upgrade to our outdoor space with purpose built Natureplay landscaping and equipment and our insurance doesn’t cover floods.

Our Kindy is a community based, not for profit organisation run by a voluntary management committee. We rely on fundraising to help us maintain our service and keep our fees low and affordable.

We started a crowdfunding campaign because we understand that leaning too hard on people in our community when they are also feeling the affects of disaster can be a little too much to ask. Chuffed.org have provided the platform to enable us a wider reach to our campaign.”
Sharon Cislowski

To learn more about the Community Kindergarten and help them to recover from the floods, check out Sharon’s crowdfunding campaign page below:

Spreading the love of Skateboarding in Palestine!

SkatePal Palestine

SkatePal Palestine

“Elouise and Zelia are travelling to Jayyous, Palestine in May to volunteer with SkatePal, an incredible non-profit that empowers the Palestinian youth through skateboarding. They do this by building skateparks, holding classes and providing equipment and encouragement!

We met at Khora Community Centre in Athens, Greece where we have both been volunteering for the last 6 months. Through this we also started teaching with Free Movement Skateboarding who have built a mobile skatepark, and recently a small permanent skatepark near Eleonas refugee camp, and who hold sessions for kids from the refugee community and local Greek kids. At the new skatepark we also hold weekly girls-only sessions to encourage more girls to participate and make the sport more inclusive. These sessions encourage integration across cultures, improving confidence on and off a skateboard, and generally just having a great time with their friends. Having seen first-hand the benefits these sessions have brought for the kids we were inspired to travel to Palestine to build on this experience and become better teachers and skaters!

We especially love seeing girls getting involved and SkatePal makes an effort to have a gender balance among the volunteers so that we can hold girls-only sessions. This is especially important in Palestine as the youth have little access to sporting activities and skateboarding is one of the most inclusive sports out there; people of all ages, genders, classes and races can participate and have a good time while also breaking down these barriers together!

Donations to our campaign will go towards ensuring the sustainability of this project, helping them expand to empower kids in more places!”

For more on this amazing cause, check out Elouise and Zelia’s crowdfunding campaign page below:

The Pacific Hope Project by Alice Forrest

Alice Forrest

Alice Forrest

“I’ve spent a lot of time in Tonga, it’s not far from my home in Australia and it’s an incredibly beautiful place with a wild ocean and a simple lifestyle. I’ve always been sad to see the dogs there – skinny, unloved, and often lying sick or dead on the side of the road. However last year, while visiting with my partner Ángel (a vet from Spain), we realised we could make a real difference.

We visited a family on a small island called Nomuka who have spent several years taking in strays and doing what they can, but are overcome by the amount of dogs. We surveyed the whole village, and found out that overwhelmingly people wanted neutering, but had no access to vets. When back in Spain we spoke to our friends Martha & Manu, who have worked on many street dog campaigns in the past, and put together the Pacific Hope Project to get back there with the supplies needed to completely change the life of the dogs on Nomuka Island.

We figured that many people have been confronted by overpopulation and lack of care for dogs while on their travels, and opened the campaign up to Crowdfunding on Chuffed to fund the cost of transport, medicine and local help. The humbling support and donations, alongside several requests for similar projects on other nearby islands, showed us that this project was much further reaching than we’d initially thought. Incredibly, inspirational Australian philanthropist Philip Wollen spotted our campaign on Facebook and offered to match donations.

We’ re on the way to getting the campaign totally funded, and this will enable us to not just neuter and care for dogs, but improve life for the humans on the island too as they will no longer share their home with parasite-ridden dogs, or packs of angry street dogs at night. This project has turned from us wanting to help some puppies, into something that may completely change the island in a positive way, and hopefully will spread to other nearby islands. Ultimately, our short term goal is neutering and health care in these small communities, but long term we hope that through our education campaign & local training we can step out completely and leave self-sufficient, healthy and happy populations of dogs behind.”
Alice Forrest, Conservation Biologist

For more on the Pacific Hope Project and Alice Forrest’s inspiring work, check out her crowdfunding campaign page below:

Free speech in Brisbane by the Refugee Action Collective

REFUGEE ACTION COLLECTIVE

REFUGEE ACTION COLLECTIVE

“I have been involved with the Refugee Action Collective (RAC) for eight years. RAC is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit campaign group that seeks to change government policy to free refugees from detention and allow them to be given permanent residency in Australia. Over the last few years as we’ve organised protests in the city, the Brisbane City Council has made it increasingly difficult for us to book and organise peaceful assemblies.

Late last year, protests erupted inside the Manus Island detention centre by refugees, as the authorities attempted to force them into another camp. Their heroic actions sparked protests throughout Australia, demanding their freedom, and RAC in Queensland organised weekly protests in the month of November.

On one such protest, I led a march of several hundred people into Queen street mall where we chanted and held speeches. While the mall is public space, Brisbane City Council have severely restricted public use of the space, with a set of local laws that allow them to lay heavy fines against any number of activities in the mall. While no participants were fined during the protest, two months later I received a $630 fine for using a megaphone on the night via mail. We launched a fundraiser for the fine and within 28 hours had raised all the funds we needed! We’ve also begun a campaign for free speech in Brisbane, please sign here to help our cause: https://www.change.org/p/lord-mayor-graham-quirk-demand-free-speech-in-brisbane-cbd.

As the late British politician Tony Benn put it, “The way a government treats refugees is very instructive because it shows you how they would treat the rest of us if they thought they could get away with it.” And while the condition of many of us in Australia pales in comparison to the hell that our Government has created for refugees inside the camps, it is the same political parties that have pursued anti-refugee policies at a federal level that have also restricted our rights to free speech and assembly in Brisbane.

Our struggle for refugee rights in this country is also the struggle for all our rights, and when we have, together with our refugee brothers and sisters inside the camps, shut down those centres and when they’re brought to Australia for immediate settlement, then our community will be all the better for it.”
Tim Arnot

For more about this awesome cause, check out Tim and the Refugee Action Collective’s crowdfunding campaign to protect free speech below:

 

 

Celebrating Inclusion and Diversity with Pride Cup Australia

Pride Cup Australia

Pride Cup Australia“As a kid growing up in country Victoria, I loved playing footy more than anything. But, as I got older, the football club also felt like the one place I’d never be accepted for who I was. Words like faggot, poofter and homo were considered “part of the game”, whether coming from over the fence, from the opposition, or even my own teammates.

It took me more than 10 years to finally come out to my club. When I did, not only did my teammates stand by my side, but together, we created the first Pride Cup.

We turned one of our home games into a celebration of diversity and inclusion, so that every supporter, official and player knew that they didn’t have to choose between being themselves, and the game that they love.

We painted our 50m line rainbow, wore rainbow jumpers and presented the Pride Cup to the winning team. Alongside, we designed and delivered the first-ever education program for players and coaches to help them challenge homophobia, so that more LGBTI people can access the health and wellbeing benefits of community sport.

5 years after the first Pride Cup, we’re now supporting 11 of these events annually across Victoria. As the heart of many regional communities, sporting clubs have the power to create ripple effects and transform attitudes and no other event has put LGBTI people and their stories on the front pages of regional papers quite like the Pride Cup.

Now, more towns across Australia are ready for Pride Cup, and we’re ready to bring it to them!

To go from 11 to 150 Pride Cups annually in 3 years, we’ll create a national support program to help clubs develop and execute their own Pride Cup. Through this program, we’ll engage 30,000 players, 150,000 fans and up to a million people through regional and national media.

To make this happen, I’ve engaged an advisory board with former AFL players, a former AFL Commissioner, corporate heavyweights, philanthropic leaders, and Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, and most excitingly, hired a co-founder.

Already the founder of LGBTI youth sport organisation, Proud2Play, James Lolicato brings incredible expertise and experience to our team. He’s also the 2017 Australian Community Leader of the Year and a nominee for the 2018 Victorian Young Achiever Award!

With James and the advisory board in place, momentum is building. In the weeks since launching our crowdfunder, I’ve heard from football clubs in Stawell, Mornington, Daylesford, Colac and Ballarat – all ready to bring the Pride Cup to their communities.

As a young kid struggling to come to terms with my sexuality in a country town, this is a game changer that I’d never imagined would one day become a reality.

We have the proven model, we have the demand, we have the goodwill of the community and we have the A team.

Now all we need is you. Will you join us?”

Jason Ball, Founder Pride Cup

Take a look at Pride Cup Australia’s campaign page to learn more about their inspiring work around inclusion in sport:

Preserving the Kunanyi Mountain

Kunanyi

Kunanyi

“Residents Opposing the Cable Car (ROCC) is a group of people who care about Kunanyi, who value having the mountain that looms above Hobart remain wild and natural. There’s a road to the top and telecommunications infrastructure there, but that is all. The foothills and slopes, and the dramatic summit cliffs, well loved as they are, remain intact.

There’s a proposal to run a cable car up Kunanyi and we oppose that.

We oppose pylons, wires, forest clearing, bus-sized carriages running directly over the incredible cliffs every 5 minutes and for up to 16 hours a day, and the proposed large multi-storey building at the summit.

The development would fundamentally change the character of the mountain. It would become just another tourist destination and the wild nature of Kunanyi would be lost.

There are many people who are fiercely protective of Kunanyi and some of those people formed ROCC. Some of us live right under the Mountain and others live elsewhere around Hobart. We are a diverse bunch but working together has brought to the fore an extraordinary range of high level skills – research, design, networking, communications, legal, photography and more. And if we can’t find the skills within the group it’s generally not a far reach to find them willingly offered from elsewhere.

We are all volunteers of course, but we think about and work on this campaign all of the time. Determination to keep Kunanyi as a natural and unshackled icon is our common motivation and incredible creativity springs from that determination.

We look to Kunanyi virtually every day of our lives here. It’s our glimpse of wilderness, our restful gaze and a weather station all in one. The least then that we can do is to look after it.”

You can read more about the ROCC and their efforts to preserve Kunanyi on their campaign page:

Basics for Blokes: Helping the Homeless in Perth

Lenny Jacoby Basics for Blokes

Lenny Jacoby Basics for Blokes

“I am a mother of two young kids 4&2 so any of my volunteer work is fit in around my job as a mum and a job as a nurse. Probably good to mention my amazingly supportive husband who does a lot of the background work at home to make sure I have space and time to do this. He is a dead set legend.

I used to work in an inner city hospital, seeing homeless people come in for treatment and often making remote indigenous people become homeless so that they can access their life saving treatment. So I guess the issue of homelessness has been around me for a while and Ive always been aware of it.

In 2014 a small chat with a friend saw my request for ladies toiletries and decent underwear turned into a viral campaign called Essentials for Women. Since then I have created a charity called The Essentials Collective Inc in Perth.

Our next chapter is Basics for Blokes.  Our goal is simple: to make sure that every man in Perth has access to basic toiletries, socks and underwear.

I’m part of an incredible team at BFB. We have six strong leaders in Perth sitting at our table. We know that we can’t change everything about homeless in Perth. We know that the cost of living is high, that access to basic hygiene products are difficult, that people can fall through the gaps in our system. It is the simple things that we take for granted that can make a tangible difference, that giving people a hand up, not a hand out, can empower them to put their best foot forward.

And we know socks work. The bloke that I talk about in our campaign video, we gave him a few socks in 2016. He found me at Perth Homeless Connect last year. He remembers the socks that we gave him. And the best thing is that he is no longer homeless.

We hit 50% of our goal in 12 hours. It blew us out of the water. $5000 means that we would get 500 pairs of socks for the homeless. Our next step would be to smash our goal and increase our target so that we can get 1000 pairs of warm socks on the Perth streets this winter. Could you imagine that? ”

Learn more about The Essentials Collective and their work with the homeless on their campaign page:

Getting Cajon High School Jazz Band to The Santa Cruz Festival!

Cajon High School Jazz Band

Cajon High School Jazz Band

“As a music educator, I’ve always had an interest for serving urban, working-class communities like the city I grew up in. When I was appointed the band and orchestra director at Cajon High School in San Bernardino, California three years ago, I was overjoyed to bring opportunities for music education and performance to the students in the city.

San Bernardino is a city in the Inland Empire region of Southern California that has been struggling with economic recession- in 2012, the city became the largest city in the United States to file for bankruptcy (and to this day, remains the second-largest city to have filed for bankruptcy- behind Detroit). Most of my students at Cajon High School live in economic hardship. My students have lived with violence around them: in 2015, our city was rocked by a terrorist attack that placed the community in fear and mourning; in 2017, the elementary school a block away from our school was the site of a school shooting stemming from a domestic dispute. Despite this, the city of San Bernardino shows its resilience through its community. As an educator, I support this resilience by teaching one thing: hope.

My approach to making hope happen in my music classes is to provide my students greater opportunity. Since taking over the position of band and orchestra director, the program has expanded in its ensembles offered, amount of performances, quality, and in number of students.

This is the third year that I have spent restarting the jazz band program at Cajon High School, and the first year we have had a big band instrumentation. As a professional musician who has travelled performing music, I also wanted to show my students that music can take them places- quite literally. When the band was accepted to perform at the 2018 Santa Cruz Jazz Festival, I knew this was an opportunity I had to make happen for my students. I investigated the costs involved, and saw that it was an achievable goal, which was why I went to my parent group to start a Chuffed.org fundraiser. In tandem with the Chuffed.org fundraiser, I promoted the group and the cause through social media with musicians I performed with and friends and family, and through a piano recital series. I never realized how quickly the community could come together to make this opportunity happen for my students!”

You can read more about the Cajon High School Jazz band on their campaign page:

The Big Bottle Tour, by Annett and the Boomerang Alliance Team!

Annett

Annett

“I used to be a telecom engineer and got to work in different countries. But wherever I lived, I was drawn to and fascinated by our oceans and the many amazing creatures that live there. 15 years ago, I decided to make this passion my profession. I studied marine ecology and came to understand that human impact goes further than overfishing and loss of habitat. Our oceans are drowning in waste, most of it plastic. That plastic never goes away, it just breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces, which when ingested by animals can transfer toxic chemicals, many of which have been found to magnify up the food chain. The scale of plastic debris is simply staggering and cleaning up is not a solution. I wanted to do something to stop this at the source, on land.

I joined Boomerang Alliance, an Australian not-for-profit group working to reduce marine plastic pollution. We lobby governments, work with industry and educate communities on issues such as single-use plastic packaging. I’m their sole Victorian representative and have been campaigning for 18 months for a container deposit scheme. Drink containers are one of the biggest contributors to plastic marine debris. The CSIRO found that containers are three times less likely to be littered in areas with a container refund scheme. It’s easy really: put a value on it and it doesn’t get tossed! Victoria and Tasmania are the only states that have yet to commit to such a scheme.

The scheme is also great for providing funding for charities and community groups. It’s easy to convince people of why this makes sense, but it’s sometimes hard to be heard over the dim of other issues taking up space and time. So, I decided to go BIG… enter the Big Bottle, which I want to tour around regional Victoria. I put out the call and have already received many offers of help with setting up meetings with MPs, talking at schools and doing clean-ups. The best part of my job is working with all these local waste heroes and I can’t wait to meet them! Together we can push this sensible scheme high up on the Victorian government’s agenda. Let’s just hope the Big Bottle makes it all in one piece 😊”
Annett and the Boomerang Alliance team

Learn more about this awesome cause on Annett’s crowdfunding campaign page below:

Bringing fair fashion to Fremantle – The Fitting Room by New Mode Collective

New Mode Mag Launch

New Mode Mag Launch

“Eve and Acacia met in self defence class just over 6 months ago and immediately connected over a shared interest in fair, sustainable clothing. After sharing countless cups of coffee, reading lists, impassioned discussions, wistful dreams and sweaty training sessions, they discovered that Acacia’s background in community development, and Eve’s in fashion and textiles, were just what the other needed to start stirring up the industry. New Mode Collective was born as a platform to share all they have learnt about clothing; the people who make it; and its effects on our precious Earth.

In May 2017, they created a clothing supply chain installation and facilitated a series of workshops on sustainable fashion at Moral Fairground’s Victorian Fair Trade Festival. The positive responses were overwhelming, and served to reinforce their belief that education and access to ethically produced, sustainable clothing must improve fast! Propelled by the fires in their bellies, they showcased the exhibition again in December and launched the first edition their zine, New Mode Mag.

They are now embarking on their biggest venture yet; New Mode Fashion Festival (NMFF), March 3rd – 11th, in Fremantle, WA. Thus far, their projects have focused on education and, while they recognise the importance of this, they have come to realise that a barrier for many people is lack of access rather than knowledge. Outside Australia’s major cities, sustainable clothing is available almost exclusively online, which makes curating a thoughtful wardrobe daunting for many. As part of NMFF, they’re launching The Fitting Room, a pop-up retail space where people can try on sustainable garments before buying them online. They’ll be hosting an industry conference on ethical business, a screening of the harrowing yet inspiring documentary, River Blue, and an Emerging Designer Showcase of Perth and Melbourne’s fledgling conscious designers.

Crowdfunding has proven to be a perfect way to galvanise support for these projects, and Eve and Acacia can’t thank Chuffed and their supporters enough for making it all possible!”

For more on The Fitting Room and New Mode Collective, check our their crowdfunding campaign below: