Our Give500 Story

Give500 Collective Giving Program 2023 Winners

The Carevan Foundation
The Ruffy Swags Project
Winner $18,000 2023 Give500 Grant

The Carevan Foundation is a not for profit organisation that helps to feed and support the homeless and disadvantaged in our community. Caravan’s goal is to create a sense of identity and belonging, whilst building relationships with those we are able to assist.
Carevan runs Kids Cooking in Schools programs to assist in the delivery of our nightly meal service for those in need.

The Ruffy Swags project will produce Backpack Swags for homeless and rough sleepers who are finding it difficult to find a bed each night. In our local area, rough sleepers are becoming more common due to regional housing shortages and cost of living issues. Providing a swag that is warm in winter, cool in summer and practical to carry will be an extremely valuable resource to provide for these people.

The Carevan Foundation will work with the Beechworth Correctional Centre who will provide the workforce to produce the swags for this program. Participation in the program will give the inmates at the facility positive direction, a sense of purpose and meaning to their days while serving their time. In addition, the skills gained producing the swags for the project has the potential to extend their employment opportunities for when they are released.

Our Native Garden Nursery
Seeds On The Move – Local Garden Initiative
Winner $4,000 2023 Give500 Grant

Our Native Garden Nursery (ONG) is a community-operated, local native nursery in Wodonga. They propagate quality, well priced native plants for local revegetation projects to organisations including the Wodonga Urban Landcare Network, Council of Wodonga, schools and businesses, as well as supplying the Wodonga public.
ONG promotes native plant revegetation and habitat revitalisation throughout the Wodonga region and encourages community education through volunteer training and public events.

ONG will establish an indigenous seed bank for north-eastern Victorian native plants gathered by ONG volunteers and the Wodonga community. The aim of collecting local provenance seed is to ensure the plants propagated by ONG volunteers are climate adapted to this area. Establishment of the ONG seed bank will fill a significant gap in local native plant seed collection in north east Victoria and southern NSW.he ONG proposal begins a formal local plant identification and seed collection project over a six month with a plan to run an annual collection program, recording a local map of seed collection locations.

The nursery seeks interested community members to join our local native plant discovery program. The project plans to introduce community to plant ID techniques and seed collection methodology through bushland “walk and talks”. The program will ultimately guarantee the diversity of native plants ONG can grow for the local area with the community invited to actively assist the nursery in achieving this.

Tots2Teens Albury Wodonga
Classy Kids Program
Winner $4,000 2023 Give500 Grant

Tots2teens Albury Wodonga supports children going into Foster Care, Kinship Care, leaving Domestic Violence, Homeless community and Young mums by providing basic essential items at a time of need. Tots2Teens provides sensory packs to First Responders to try and reduce the amount of trauma that is imprinted on the young persons brain when going through a very traumatic event.

All items provided are brand new and adapted to the young persons situation.

The Classy Kids Project came about as a response to the needs of vulnerable children who are identified by teachers within the schools system who do not have the capacity to provide this material support.

Classy Kids packs may include compulsory school items, hair brushes, hair ties, books, pens, pencils, lunch boxes, drink bottles, uniforms and new shoes for the children to wear. Additionally, funds for excursions, outings, extra curriculum sporting activities can be available to children who would otherwise not be able to attend.

The project is accessed via a referral system and provides teachers and well being teams who engage with the children on a daily basis, the capacity to offer material support for children who are most in need.

Give500 Collective Giving Program 2022 Winners

Police & Citizens Youth Club (PCYC) Albury
Social Connections through Play Project
Winner $18,000 2022 Give500 Grant

PCYC NSW is a registered charity, whose mission is to empower young people to reach their potential through Police and community partnerships. PCYC provides quality activities and programs in a safe, fun and friendly environment.  Their work with at-risk youth to break the cycle of disadvantage through crime prevention, vocational education, youth capacity building and social responsibility programs to change the life outcomes of over 1500+ youth per year.

This project is to build social connections and encourage physical activity/gross motor skill development, PCYC Albury will run kindy gym sessions three times per week over a year period. The program will be offered free of charge to assist families experience socio-economic hardship. Attending one session per week, over a forty week period, PCYC anticipates 60+ benefit from this program with most attending multiple terms.

Body Confident Collective
Embrace Albury Wodonga
Winner $4,000 2022 Give500 Grant

The Body Confident Collective is a health promotion charity and body image research- translation organisation, on a mission to ensure no one is held back by their beliefs about their body.

The Embrace AW Youth Activation Project will involve connecting young regional people and empowering them to tackle body image issues in the ways that matter to them. 100 young people from communities across AW and surrounds, and 25 key stakeholders from school, sport, and community organisations will spread the Embrace message across the AW region- attending a Youth Summit, implementing their own change project, and receiving online mentoring for the 6-month duration of the program. Together they will create change that can improve the resilience of young people to appearance pressure and enhance their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Petaurus Education Group
Sisters Who Shine Project
Winner $4,000 2022 Give500 Grant

Petaurus Education Group Incorporated is a not-for-profit organisation that identifies and develops programs that connect individuals with nature, culture, sustainability and their local community. By partnering with local community groups and government stakeholders they can plan and deliver innovative and specialised programs that increase the participation and engagement of individuals in the community in an accessible and inclusive way.

Sisters who SHINE aims to inspire young girls, the next generation of Border women, to reach for the stars, showing them how they can achieve their goals while encouraging them to support each other as they pursue the career and life they wish to lead. Their vision for Sisters who SHINE is a future where all young girls are knowledgeable, healthy and empowered, with activities aligned to the themes Science, Heritage, Innovation, Nature and Empowerment.

Give500 Collective Giving Program 2021 Winners

Junction Support Services
Therapy Dog Program
Winner $15,000 2021 Give500 Grant

Junction Support Services (Junction) has been changing lives for more than 30 years. They are an award winning not-for-profit organisation, providing children, Youth, Family services, Junction’s mission is to support individuals and families to achieve their full potential. Junction has 38 programs, employs over 200 staff and 40 volunteers. Junction provides services in homelessness, family violence and youth support including operating residential care houses and a youth refuge.

This project was to purchase and train a therapy dog for use in their residential and counselling services to improve mental health and wellbeing outcomes whilst fostering a sense of connection for many vulnerable and disconnected children, youth and adults. Learn more about Junction Support 

Survivors of Suicide & Friends
Solstice the Documentary
Winner $2,500 2021 Give500 Grant

Survivors of Suicide and Friends is a for-purpose, registered, incorporated entity established in 2013. Their central focus lies in facilitating the annual Winter Solstice event which aims to raise awareness and support around suicide prevention and mental health. All members of the community are targeted beneficiaries, and since our inaugural event in 2013, the participation rate, dynamics and national recognition has grown.

Solstice the Documentary is a bold, grassroots documentary gathering voice that have been raised to unite, challenge and change how we respond to our collective mental health crisis now and into the future.

Aspect Riverina School
Resilience on the Spectrum
Winner $2,500 2021 Give500 Grant

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect) provides services and support to people on the autism spectrum of all ages including autism specific education through our Aspect Riverina School in Albury. Next to education, their services include diagnostic assessments, early years support, therapy, employment support, a life skill program for Autistic adults with complex support needs, research and autism friendly and inclusive initiatives in collaboration with corporate, cultural and sporting institutions. The goal is to roll out a health and wellbeing program at our Aspect Riverina School which includes the provision of a range of different workshops through external facilitators. The program will focus on nutrition, healthy eating and meal preparation, physical exercise as well as resilience and positivity.