Operation New Expansion: Growing a Farm Animal Sanctuary

Freedom Hill Animals

Freedom Hill Animals

“My name is Kym and I am the founder/owner of Freedom Hill Sanctuary.  My love for animals and helping them has always been a passion of mine starting from a young age. 6 years ago I thought being vegan wasn’t enough for me, so I started Freedom Hill Sanctuary.

Farm animals are the forgotten ones, so many orphaned, abandoned or injured farm animals in South Australia and no one to care for them, until Freedom Hill Sanctuary.

We have grown so much and now in need to move into a larger property so we can continue the much needed work and help these animals.

My passion to help farm animals is who I am, not what I do. Our new property will offer the opportunity to open for school tours and the public. Together, we can help to unite under a common denominator; compassion to all.

The chance to able to hear individual rescue stories, to meet the animals and to join in a group of like minded people at one place will not only rewarding for children but adults alike.

There is nothing these animals want but the basics any animal deserves, love, food, water and shelter.  I am so excited that this can finally be shared with everyone! I can’t wait to move forward for these animals.

Compassion isn’t something that is taught; it is untaught. Help be the voice for the voiceless.”

Read more about Freedom Hill Sanctuary’s campaign for South Australia’s largest farm animal rescue sanctuary here:

The Spirit of Community by the Helping Hand Project!



“I first became involved with The Helping Hand Project (HHP) in 2004. I was going through a difficult time in my personal life at the time and a friend recommended me to program believing it would help me through this period. I was immediately drawn to program; not having known my father growing up I was aware of how important it was to have a role model in your life. I was also starting a business which was to be listed on the ASX and thought mentoring would be something which gives back to the community rather than taking.

I mentored a number of young refugees but one in particular, Peter, I have known for 12 years. I met Peter when he was about 13 just after he arrived in Australia. I say about 13 as it is common with refugee minors they don’t know their birthdays. Peter had fled Sudan by foot aged about 6 and ended up in a Kenyan refugee camp where he lived for five or six years.

When Peter arrived in Australia he had no family and little English, lived with a couple of other Sudanese boys in the Flemington flats.

There are many stories to tell about mentoring experience but Peter now has a degree, a full-time job as a supervisor while he is also a leader within the local South Sudanese community. Peter recently got married in South Sudan which I was supposed to attend however decided not to on safety concerns and instead bought 10 cows which were given to the bride’s parents. Peter and I also recently organised a fund-raising event to provide vaccinations in South Sudan for the cholera outbreak. It was a fully inclusive night of South Sudanese and the local Flemington community enjoying some African bands, beats and food.

I believe the most rewarding part about mentoring it that it is two-way street. I thought Peter would be learning from me however he has been inspirational with his resilience and perseverance. I have made many friends in his community and have been welcomed with open arms. Most importantly it has made me aware of the refugee plight. Now when I see someone that maybe of a refugee background I know they will have an incredible back story.

While I have been on the HHP committee for about 8 years I became chairman about 4 years as the then chairman was moving overseas. It is incredibly rewarding hearing about the wonderful partnerships this program has created. Hearing the stories of first time mentors talking about their mentee relationship and interactions is always heartwarming. Many have gone onto to lifelong friendships.

Mentoring and chairing the program are undoubtedly the most rewarding things I have done in my life.”
Noel Newell

For more on this inspiring cause, check out Noel’s crowdfunding campaign page below:



Asante Children, bringing water to disabled children in Kenya!

Daphne and Wamboi

Daphne and Wamboi

“I was born, raised and educated in Kenya and for the past 20 years I have lived in Australia.

On a recent trip back to Kenya, to visit friends and family, I met Eric. He was 13 years old and he is the grandson of a very dear friend.  I was devastated to find that he had been paralysed for a few years, he was extremely depressed, had no walking aids or wheelchair and was desperate to go to school. Eric had been a healthy, growing boy when he suffered a bout of severe dysentery.  Eric’s family are extremely poor and they live far from any medical services. They were simply unable to afford the treatment for him, and this left him with muscular dystrophy.  Eric will not walk again, but I wanted to ensure that he, and children like him, get the opportunity to be their best. Eric is now attending school, 2 hours from home, and therefore boards nearby, along with 30 other physically handicapped children.

The boarding block has previously not had water and it has been carried in buckets from a well on a neighbour’s property. Following consultation with the boarding block coordinator, Hannah Njeri, a plan was put into place to dig a well so that water could be pumped to a new tank next to the boarding block.  This will provide running water to the washrooms, kitchen and laundry.  This work is now in progress by paid contractors.

I have raised funds in the past amongst friends and family, through the sale of Kenyan made keyrings. With these funds I now fund a full time physiotherapist at the boarding block.  The physiotherapist also assists with nutrition advice and in training the carers who support the children.

The need for a constant water supply is urgent and necessary. This is why I chose a crowdfunding platform. The wider base of donors available through crowdfunding will hopefully ensure that I can raise the necessary money to complete the water project.

I have been absolutely excited with the response that I have received.  One donor alone has made a substantial donation and that donation has been a major motivation to succeed in reaching our target.

When the children return to school in early January their lives will be transformed and the carers’ work made easier, thereby giving them more time to devote to the health and care of the children!”
Isobel Daphne Bellingeri, Asante Children Inc

For more on this awesome cause, check out Asante Children Inc’s crowdfunding campaign page below:

Christopher is crowdfunding to bring smiles to Asylum Seeker children this Christmas!

Christopher Stenton

Christopher Stenton

“After a phenomenal effort two years ago where we provided 800 Asylum Seeker children with toys, I have decided to get the band back together (some 220 dedicated supporters!) and see how many smiles we can bring this year to Asylum Seeker children in need.

You all know that Asylum Seekers are vulnerable, and commonly experiencing isolation and financial hardship. Most of you know that this includes young children and families. What this project aims to do is to put smiles on the faces of Asylum Seeker children and families by providing them with a gift this Christmas. Such generosity will not only brighten a child’s day, but it will help to shine a light on Australia’s truly generous nature, show Asylum Seekers that many Australians do empathise with them, in the face of negative media that seeks to spread division and an ‘us’ vs ‘them’ mentality. This will help to provide a sense of community and break feelings of isolation.

Ok, for some quick background… I have previously worked with, volunteered for, protested for, written University papers on and supported Asylum Seekers, both in and out of detention now for nigh on twelve years. This has been completed across a large number of organisations and roles and has provided me with amazing insight into the complex issue that is people seeking asylum, as well as granting me such a huge privilege in being able to support such people and help them to find their feet and place within our community.

Witnessing first hand the level of hardship Asylum Seeker children endure in their family’s efforts to make it to Australia I decided this year to create a toy drive, seeking to provide as many Asylum Seeker children as possible a gift this Christmas time. The smallest gift or donation will greatly aid this project to help as many children as possible. Every single cent donated through my crowdfunding will be used for purchasing toys and gifts for Asylum Seeker children.”

This is what Christmas is all about! For more on this important cause, check out Christopher’s crowdfunding campaign below:

Providing an Education for Kibera Girls by Kibera Hamlets

An Education for Kibera Girls

An Education for Kibera Girls

“Shortly after I moved to Nairobi, Kenya two years ago, a friend introduced me to Kibera Hamlets School in Kibera slum. I was immediately drawn to their work because the school was started by young adults from the community who deeply understand the challenges of growing up in the slum. At the time, the school did not have text books or running water, but what they identified as a top concern was that female graduates of their primary school often were not able to continue their education due to lack of school fees, family pressures to start working as teenagers, early pregnancies, sexual assault, or drug abuse inside the slum.

The founders asked if I could help them raise school fees for these girls to attend a low-cost boarding school in rural Western Kenya, to allow them to focus on their studies away from the risks of Kibera slum. I was inspired to take on this task, since I saw how one person’s donation of just $415 per year could literally change a young woman’s life. Previously, I often felt that it was hard to genuinely make a difference, but I saw that this was a rare opportunity where mobilizing my community could l make all the difference in the world.

I ran my first crowdfunding campaign in 2015 on the Chuffed site. Although I set a goal of $6,500, I received an overwhelmingly positive response from my friends and family as well as strangers on the Chuffed site and raised over $10,000! This year, I have partnered with Kibera Hamlets USA, a non-profit organization set up to support the school, to expand the scholarship program to 36 girls.

This project has been one of the most meaningful and fulfilling experiences of my life. It brings me so much happiness to know that my contribution has allowed young women to continue their education and lift themselves out of poverty. In the words of one of these inspiring students, “Here in Kenya, finding someone who can pay school fees for you is like a dream. But I don’t know you and you have helped me. I don’t have words to express my feeling for you. After school, I want to open a big organization that will help women and girls in slums. I believe education is key in life.”

You can find out more about the Kibera school and Kibera Hamlets vision here:

A New Play by the Human Story Theatre

Human Story Theatre Team
Human Story Theatre Team
“I’ve been an actor for 17 years. Wanting to have more control and ‘job satisfaction’ in my life, I set up Human Story Theatre with my close friend Gaye Poole, 15 months ago. As an emerging charity we have yet to have core-funding. So in addition to our ‘earning a crust’ acting work, we run Human Story Theatre in our spare time. It’s a full-time job, so our life-work balance is a little squew-whiff!

Human stories was precisely what we wanted to collect and portray when we started HST and we’ve been overwhelmed with people’s openness in sharing their personal experiences for our first three shows. We only tour new writing with a health and social care at heart and thus far have tackled Dementia, Loneliness and Breast Cancer. For DRY our new show touring in ‘Dry January’ we have been particularly touched at people’s willingness to talk about the usually taboo subject of alcohol. We were commissioned by the NHS Central South to write DRY for public information reasons i.e. the detrimental health effects on middle age, middle class drinkers in particular is becoming a huge problem for our health services. Gaye says: “This isn’t a play that preaches but we hope it is a play that raises as many questions as chuckles.”

Most actors have to wear a variety of working ‘hats’ and Gaye and I met ten years ago while wearing our ‘medical role-play hats’. Together we work as role-players and facilitators in teaching communication skills to various medical students and professionals. Straddling the two worlds of make believe and the real life certainly crystallised the idea of Human Story Theatre which has become the perfect vehicle for our concerns regarding health and social care. We would like to help our communities in some way and as actors and a writer the tools available to us are to convey important messages in theatre form.

For DRY we’ve partnered with Turning Point UK and Al-Anon who will be present at our post-show Q&As, providing information and support to our audiences. Turning Point have hubs all over Oxfordshire and Al-Anon Family Groups provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking.”

Learn more about this awesome cause on Human Story Theatre’s crowdfunding campaign page:

Pickleberry Pie: Hospital Concerts for Kids!

Jenny Heitler-Klevans

Jenny Heitler-Klevans

”I had premature identical twins who were in the hospital for 5 weeks. While there, my husband and I, both musicians, sang to them and played tapes of our music. After they came home from the hospital we decided to become full-time musicians. Ironically, we came up with our group name – Two of a Kind – 5 years before our twins were born, so our name came true. We mostly perform for children. While touring we connected with an organization called Pickleberry Pie and started performing in hospitals.

We’ve had some profound experiences as performers in the hospital. The most incredible experience was when we sang for a baby on the Pediatric ICU at UVA Hospital on New Year’s Eve Day 2015. We were singing Twinkle Little Star, and Baa Baa Black Sheep and everyone was singing along, including the hospital staff, and the little baby smiled. Everyone was crying and we had no idea what happened, but it was a very special moment. A few months later the parents tracked us down and told us that their son died the very next morning while waiting for a heart transplant. They felt that moment was a precious memory that they will cherish forever, because at that moment they just felt like parents, not parents of a sick child, just parents enjoying singing together.

To me, that story is what this organization is all about. We bring joy to kids and family members who are going through a difficult time, be it at the hospital or at a school for kids with disabilities. I got so invested in the work that I became a local coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic region and now I’m the Executive Director. We work at hospitals and other facilities at various locations around the U.S. Our team is made up of board members, local coordinators and performers who are particularly passionate about the work. We are so thrilled to be raising much-needed funds for this incredible, life-changing work.”

Learn more about this inspiring story by checking out the Pickleberry Pie crowdfunding page below:


Let their Voices Echo! by ECHO100Plus



“As a refugee on their journey to seek asylum, a common problem faced is language barriers and the inability to communicate effectively. Many refugees are spoken to, and about on a daily basis without being able to coherently respond or express themselves.

With the journey being a long and gruelling process, riddled with uncertainty, the problem of miscommunication can be a huge frustration and one that builds to their already extremely tough situation.

ECHO100Plus is working to change that. By providing language classes in English, German, French, Italian and Greek, Echo bridges the communication gap for refugees along their journey and helps integrate them into life beyond their asylum.

In order to continue doing so, we urgently need your help to maintain the current classes we have running, by raising funds for class materials and student mentoring.”

The ECHO100Plus Team

Learn more about this inspiring cause on the ECHO100 Plus crowdfunding campaign page:

Helping disadvantaged children in Nepal by the Virdee-Hero Family



”We (the Virdee-Hero family) have been visiting Nepal since 2009. Initially we were working on conservation programs with Australian University students in the Terai lowlands. We were struck by the beauty of people living with so little. We found the local orphanage where children had been orphaned due to their parents being killed by wildlife and natural disasters and were compelled to assist them. As we trekked through the Himalayas, and carried out further conservation programs, we saw what little children had. I remember a woman walking for a day from another village as she heard that I was giving away my 4-year-old daughter’s jumpers and was donating footballs. I clearly remember asking my daughter to take her jumper off and give it to the child in the freezing cold conditions. Returning to Australia, our daughters asked for money instead of birthday and Xmas presents to help underprivileged children. Our friends supported us with blankets, clothes, shoes and anything they could miss.

One year we visited the blind school, where we were shocked at how little the children had, not enough food nor blankets for winter; the absolute basic necessities in life that we take for granted here in Australia. We returned a few days later with a truck full of food, clothes and blankets and were so deeply moved by the love, gratitude and joy they displayed; the whole community showered all of us with leis and sang to us so beautifully. In Nepal, blind children are often abandoned in regional areas as their parents are unable to care for them.

We connected with a not-for profit organisation NAFA (Nepal Australia Friendship Association) to expand our contributions. Working in education, we understand that knowledge is power and passionately support NAFA in providing desks, shelter and toilets in schools, so that children can go to school. Over the years we have helped in remote areas to provide food, clothing, mattresses, desks, blackboards, blankets, equipment stationary and school fees wherever we can.

There is so much that still needs to be done since the horrific 2015 Nepal Earthquake. In December this year we are returning to help people in Nepal and created a crowd-funding page to help raise funds to give directly to people in need. Our hearts are committed to doing whatever we can to help, so please help us to help these children …”

Learn more about this amazing cause by checking out their crowdfunding campaign page below:



Bet on Betty’s Future, by RSPCA Queensland

Bet on Betty's Future, RSPCA Queensland

Bet on Betty's Future, RSPCA Queensland

”The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Queensland (RSPCA Qld) is the state’s oldest, largest and leading animal welfare charity, dedicated to improving the lives of all domestic, farmed and native animals throughout Queensland. We are the leading animal welfare charity in Queensland, currently rehoming more animals than any other organisation in the Southern Hemisphere. As a non-government, community based charity, we are the only charity with the power to prosecute animal cruelty and neglect. We care for displaced domestic pets across the state as well as native wildlife patients in our Brisbane RSPCA Wildlife Hospital.

Each year over 50,000 animals need assistance from the RSPCA. RSPCA Qld requires $48 million annually to support our animal centres, programs and services. RSPCA Qld, a community based charity, receives less than 3% of funding from the government and relies on donations, bequests and sponsorships.

Our emergency appeals are for animals that have been rescued and are in desperate need of specialist surgery and rehabilitation. These types of cases require urgent attention where we ask the general public for donations in order to help raise the required funding.

Our campaign Bets for Betty is no different, Betty was a race horse, bred to provide entertainment for humans & to win lots of money for her owners. After she sustained critical injuries her value reduced and she ended up in our care. The campaign was launched at the same time that a National horse racing event in Australia took place ‘Melbourne Cup’ with a simple message “will you bet on Betty’s future and make a donation today”.

RSPCA seized Betty that day based on the lack of treatment that had been offered to Betty in recent years and she began her long journey to recovery. We bet on Betty’s recovery and also made sure her pregnancy was viable and that Betty could have a new start at life – one free from racing! Each horse that comes into RSPCA care costs an average of $1,000 per month for food, vet care, medications, feet care… and the investigation and prosecution side of many of these cases is so much more! RSPCA attended over 2,500 horse related calls in the last 12 months alone and we currently have 9 horses in foster care! This November horse related animal welfare, care and protection will cost $26,000! Please can you help others like Betty by donating today and not betting on horse racing?

For this we turned to Chuffed to help us call out to the general public and raise the funds needed for Evie’s specialist surgery and rehabilitation care.

Chuffed’s platform gave us the ability to have a fundraising page up for Bets for Betty in a matter of hours, as well as being able to take and process donations immediately thanks to their Stripe plugin. Even providing our sponsors with immediate tax invoices is handled through Chuffed’s sophisticated system and for us this has meant taking the administration burden off our accounts department.

Crowdfunding has played a significant role for us to help change people’s perception of the horse racing industry and to spare a fault for those that end up in our care.”

Learn more about this inspiring cause and how you can support it by checking out RSPCA Queensland’s crowdfunding page below: