“When people are doing it tough they need to know someone is thinking about them.”
Amar Singh, Turbans 4 Australia CEO and Founder.
Turbans 4 Australia is a charity organisation that has been helping Australians in need since 2015, specialising in disaster aid and food relief. Founder and President Amar Singh is deeply passionate about giving back to the community and this year was awarded the 2023 Australian of the Year Local Hero and 2023 NSW Volunteer Leader of the Year.
On any given day in Australia, more than half a million households are struggling to put food on the table, exacerbated by the cost of living crisis. Sadly, 1.3 million children in Australia have lived in severely food insecure households in the past 12 months.
Amar and his amazing team of volunteers work tirelessly to distribute up to 450 food and grocery hampers to households in Western Sydney every week. Each hamper contains staple items such as tea, coffee, cereal, beans and muesli bars to help families get through challenging times. Turbans 4 Australia also run a food pantry where people experiencing domestic violence or homelessness can choose items themselves from the shelves.
“The smiles you get from people when they see our trucks is really special,” Amar says. “When people are doing it really tough they love to know that someone is thinking about them and that we’re here to help.”
To donate to the Turbans 4 Australia Sub-Fund click here
River’s Edge ChangeMakers
River’s Edge ChangeMakers has been serving the local community since 2019, helping socially and financially disadvantaged communities within the Parramatta LGA and surrounding areas. They provide practical relief including food, clothing and financial aid, as well as advocacy, support and counselling to refugees, asylum seekers, youth and others in need.
With the cost of living rising and winter months swiftly approaching, those in disadvantaged communities are even more at risk, says Alison Elliott from ChangeMakers.
“We support people living in nearby social housing, especially through our annual winter appeal where we deliver food, warm clothes and blankets in the lead-up to winter to this community who are doing it tough,” she says.
Partnering with the Sydney Refugee Team and Foodbank Australia, ChangeMakers also provide practical support to refugee and asylum seeker families in their local Parramatta and Cumberland LGA’s.
“On top of being forced to flee their home countries, adjust to a different culture, language, new schools and having to find jobs in a new country, these families face significant struggles to pay their rent, electricity bills and food bills as the cost of living crisis hits disadvantaged people in our city the hardest,” Alison says.
“Our aspirations for 2024 include expanding our food programs through better refrigeration facilities, employing a part-time program coordinator and realising our longer-term goal of establishing a vocational training program for refugees.”
River’s Edge ChangeMakers are hosting their annual fundraiser event on Saturday June 17 from 5-8pm in Newington. The Arabian nights-themed Community Fiesta will include Middle Eastern food, live music, kids’ activities and a charity auction.
To donate to River’s Edge ChangeMakers click here
Bricks and Smiles – The Zac Minty Legacy Fund
Zac Minty was just 11 years old when he passed away after a three-year battle with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of tissue cancer. Despite the challenges he faced, he always displayed kindness, empathy, a sense of fun, a love of Liverpool FC and an aptitude for amazing LEGO creations.
After Zac’s passing in May 2022, his family set up Bricks and Smiles – The Zac Minty Legacy Project, in his honour, now a sub-fund of Sydney Community Foundation.
“Zac wanted to help others and didn’t want kids with cancer to have to go through horrible treatments,” says Rebecca, Zac’s Mum. “He also found through his treatment that doing LEGO kits was a way to escape from cancer, be in control, and create some really cool things.”
Bricks and Smiles has main two objectives: to fund research into rare childhood cancer, and to provide dream LEGO sets to kids undergoing cancer treatment. Setting up a sub-fund also gives the family and their community the opportunity to reflect on what Zac gave them all.
Zac’s grandmother, Marylou, has started a regular cake stall outside the local Woolworths and has raised more than $2000 to date. “It is a reminder of how generous people are, and it also gives me a way to honour Zac,” Marylou says.
Zac’s brother Elliott is in year 4 at the local primary school. As a member of the Student Representative Council (SRC) this year, Elliott successfully put forward Bricks and Smiles as the first SRC fundraiser for this year.