Hands Across Canberra presents $28k to the Canberra Relief Network

Published on 02 November 2020

Diane Kargas Bray AM, Chair of Hands Across Canberra has presented $28,000 to Mandy Green, CEO of Capital Region Community Services, to support the Canberra Relief Network (CRN). The ceremony was held at the EPIC showgrounds in a warehouse where the CRN works diligently to provide much-needed pantry items to Canberrans affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Danielle Bate, CRN Agency Liaison and Masia Ermacora, CRN Connect Centre Coordinator from Capital Region Community Services were also in attendance. The funds presented were a direct result from generous community donations through the Canberra Recovery Appeal.

Hands Across Canberra works with over 250 local community organisations supporting our most vulnerable. The Canberra Recovery Appeal was initiated by Hands Across Canberra following a report which confirmed that 97% of local community organisations were struggling from the combined impact of the bushfires and COVID-19.

“Back in March we saw that we needed to act to help the many local charities and community organisations who are part of the Hands Across Canberra network,” says Kargas Bray AM.

This great effort raised a total of $421,474 across the twelve-week campaign and surpassed all expectations, reflecting the generosity of the Canberra community and shows great awareness of the extent of the growing need.

At the same time, the CRN was established in response to the community’s increasing demand for food and non-perishable essential items. The CRN is a collaboration and network of 20 community service organisations in partnership with the ACT Government.

“I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Canberra Relief Network to date. None of this work would be possible without our community partners, volunteers and the generosity of our local community. I thank them for their ongoing support during such difficult times,” says Emma Davidson, Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, responsible for community recovery and emergency relief.

The CRN provides a central point of contact for individuals and connects them to local services closest to them. There are a number of CRN community partners across the Territory, speaking to the collective efforts to support vulnerable Canberrans during this time.

The CRN has a direct relationship with Capital Region Community Services, who will manage the funds raised and help implement distribution services for the CRN.

Hands Across Canberra is pleased to be a direct support to the network of community service organisations that are playing a major part in helping Canberra’s community.

“It has been astonishing to see how the charities are collaborating and working with each other for the greater good,” says Kargas Bray.

“We are very grateful to Hands Across Canberra and the Canberra community for this generous donation to the Canberra Relief Network, which will assist with transporting hampers to CRN community partners,” Mandy Green says.

“It is so heart-warming to see such generosity by the community in support of Canberrans who are struggling during this time. People have been so selfless with their time and resources, despite this being a difficult time for everyone. It is very uplifting to see this community spirit in Canberra,” Ms Green continued.

Hands Across Canberra will continue to support the CRN this holiday season with two major partnerships, ABC Canberra Radio and IKEA for Christmas giving appeals. These appeals will directly support those charities within the network who are engaged in the CRN Christmas initiative, so that families in need will receive financial help and Christmas gifts for children.

“Community giving is crucial to the success of this network. We hope through continued integral partnerships, we can get more community engagement and funds raised to support such an important part of our community,” says Peter Gordon, CEO of Hands Across Canberra.

The CRN is here to help. To make contact, please contact 1800 43 11 33 or visit