Last month was a very different month for people all over the world and it’s typically a very busy time in the Defence community, in the lead up to ANZAC Day. Despite all of the restrictions in place, our amazing Fundraising Force still found a way to honour veterans, raising some much-needed funds for a cause close to their hearts.
Like Kristy, who along with her husband Jamie and their kids, joined with friends to host a breakfast on ANZAC Day for their entire street – all while maintaining social distancing.
“We understood why the dawn service and parades were cancelled but still wanted to do something to mark the day and extend it to our neighbours who were also feeling isolated like us.
“A neighbour owns the local Foodland so donated the breakfast items which was amazing and meant we could raise more money. Our children were so excited to create the order form and the letterbox drop for our neighbours to place their orders in the week leading up to ANZAC Day. We also did some school holiday baking and sold that to raise funds.”
Last month also saw Virtual Runner organise another ANZAC Day virtual running challenge, supporting Mates4Mates for a third year. We were absolutely thrilled with the uptake and loved following along with all our virtual runners via their social accounts.
Simon, who runs regularly, was looking for something to focus on and found the challenge to be the perfect solution for more reasons than one. “I have a nephew in the forces and he’s already done one overseas tour. I wanted to raise funds for Mates4Mates because I want my nephew to have an organisation like them should he ever need it.”
Sam who is a veteran himself also decided to participate as it brought together two of his passions. “I run around 5 kilometres daily and I really appreciate the mental health programs and expertise that Mates4Mates offers so this was a great way for me to give back to something I believe in.”
Rebecca, who works in a busy café wanted a simple but effective way to raise funds, so she put out a donation jar and encouraged her customers to donate while picking up their coffees. “ANZAC Day was a little different this year, but I still wanted to do something meaningful and a donation jar was the best way for our customers to be part of it too,” says Rebecca.
With the challenges some were facing last month, our fundraisers were mindful of asking their friends and family for donations. However, Simon believes that it is still worth asking. “I simply posted a link to my Mates4Mates Fundraising page on my social media a few times, with a disclaimer that there was no pressure but people were able to connect with my story and I received donations every time I shared the link.”
Whether it is a morning tea or a living room triathlon or something in between, there are many ways to raise funds and have fun doing it. At Mates4Mates, with the help of community supporters, we have been able to increase the scope of our telehealth programs and move our social connection activities online, so our veterans and their families continue to receive the services they need.
If you already have an idea, then you can register here, but if you need support figuring out what works best for you, reach us today, our team is here to help.
Written by Poorna Prakash, Mates4Mates Community Fundraising Officer