From anonymous donations, to grand gestures, the community has well and truly answered the call of this year’s Winter Relief Appeal.
Thanks to the generosity of Northern Tasmanians, this year’s appeal has raised $78,687.57 – just shy of an all-time record.
All proceeds will now be shared between the Launceston Benevolent Society, St Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army and City Mission.
First launched on June 1, this year’s Winter Relief Appeal marked the 60th annual fundraising effort for Northern Tasmanians in need.
To commemorate the anniversary, a fundraising target of $60,000 was set – and quickly exceeded.
From community events, business initiatives, or just personal offerings, throughout the appeal The Examiner has shared the stories of many of this year’s contributors.
But it was also the contribution of many anonymous donations that helped the appeal exceed its target.
Editor Courtney Greisbach said The Examiner was proud to facilitate an appeal that helped so many.
“Every year we have been humbled and grateful for the support shown by Northern Tasmanians for Northern Tasmanians,” she said.
“This year we have heard of increased demand for service by our four local charities. However, there is comfort in knowing that our community is there to help during those toughest times. We sincerely thank everyone for donating what they can.”
In the history of the Winter Relief appeal, more than $3.5 million has been raised for Northern Tasmanians in need. For the first time this year a Winter Relief cocktail party was also held, offering an opportunity to thank the appeal’s supporters and to continue raising funds.
Salvation Army social operations manager for Northern Tasmania, Anita Reeve said the appeal showed the true heart of the community.
“As one of the four organisations who receive funds raised in the local community by The Examiner from the Winter Relief Appeal, the impact it has in enabling the Salvation Army to deliver front-line services to those in emergency financial or emotional crisis is immeasurable,” she said.
“For those who seek our services it is nothing less than life-changing. We can directly support individuals and families who find themselves in difficult circumstances, such as being homeless, experiencing domestic violence, social isolation due to not being able to find meaningful work, dealing with a medical issue and sometimes all of these challenges together and many more.”
St Vincent de Paul Society Tasmania chief executive Lara Alexander said the organisation were very grateful for the ongoing support.
“It is refreshing to live in a kind and caring community where year after year people have donated so generously to this appeal, which in turn has allowed us to continue to provide the assistance and support to families facing hardship during the winter months,” she said.
Launceston Benevolent Society’s chief executive John Stuart said the support was “simply sensational”.
“We rely heavily on the support to meet the society’s ongoing client needs,” he said.
“We take this opportunity to thank the overall support of the community and a special thank you to The Examiner and its staff for their continued assistance in bringing the appeal to the people.”
City Mission chief executive Stephen Brown said the organisation was continuously overwhelmed by the support.
“Funds raised through the Winter Relief Appeal helps us to transform local lives each winter and to meet an increase in demand for assistance,” he said.
“There are also people who weren’t able to secure accommodation this winter, like Joseph a frequent visitors to City Mission. He has been sleeping on a block of land in a shipping container throughout winter with nothing more than blankets to keep him warm. Knowing Tasmanians continue to care for others by giving so generously, helps give hope for a brighter future to people like Joseph.”