Words by Coby Renkin Art by Nick Manton
Let’s be honest, in this ‘woke’ world it can be confusing to know how best to help. Even something like supporting charities can be very overwhelming. So, we’ve made it easy with a list of some of the best and most deserving Melbourne based charities.
Forever Friends Animal Rescue
With a mission to “rescue animals from death row and find them loving forever homes,” this charity is run entirely by volunteers and receives no government funding. They rescue all types of furry friends, and instead of running a shelter, opt to assign foster families to each animal until a forever home is found. You can help out through donations, sponsorships, volunteering—or even fostering or adopting your own furry friend.
This retail fashion label doubles as a social enterprise helping young people out of hardship by providing them with confidence and life skills. 100% of the profits made at their Fitzroy store goes towards The HoMie Pathway Alliance which provides struggling youth with an eight month long, paid, work experience opportunity. The store runs VIP shopping days where people experiencing homelessness are able to choose five free items to take from the store and can access grooming and catering. You can donate to the cause online or head in-store to make a purchase—do good and look good at the same time.
“Food for the soul” is taken quite literally here. Cake Angels bake cakes to brighten the lives of ill children. For families with seriously ill kids, occasions such as birthdays can get lost in all the stress of their situation—financial, emotional or otherwise. Cake Angels makes and donates personalised cakes to sick kids on their birthdays, ensuring that even in the hardest of times, there are still special moments. Cake Angels takes sponsorships, financial and product donations as well as assistance with fundraising. If you’re a keen baker, you can also volunteer to help bake the cakes.
This Melbourne based non-profit focuses on the health of Indigenous Australians and aims to reduce the high rates of chronic disease within remote populations of the Northern Territory. Red Dust primarily aims to educate communities on the relationship between lifestyle choices and chronic disease. Focal points include nutrition, hygiene and substance misuse. Teachings are delivered through an array of programs that include sport, music, art and dance. You can show your support for Red Dust through one-off or continuous donations.
The Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES) is a “sustainability centre and urban farm” in East Brunswick. The centre is not-for-profit and largely works towards education surrounding environmental issues and the human impact on these. They also run agriculture projects, green technology demonstrations, markets, an online store and a nursery. CERES aims to build awareness of local and global issues and work as a community towards environmental, economic and social stability. Anyone is welcome to attend the centre and the events that it runs, and donations can be made either as a one-off or monthly sponsorship.
Orygen Youth Health
Based in the Western and Northern suburbs of Melbourne, Orygen Youth Health (OYH) caters to 15 to 24 year olds battling mental illness, with a focus on early intervention. The team at OYH provide individually tailored programs to young people, including crisis intervention, medication, psychotherapy, inpatient care and vocational support. Their clinical program combines acute services, continuous care and psychosocial recovery. OYH assists approximately 1,000 people each year and takes donations in-person at their Parkville location, as well as through mailed cheques or online.
The Minus 18 community describes themselves as “Champions for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) Youth Australia Wide”. The organisation aims to champion Australia’s youth and end discrimination against members of the LGBTIQ community by creating inclusive and safe spaces. Minus 18 runs social events, provides support, delivers educational workshops and campaigns for equality—all for young people. In just 18 years, the organisation has provided over 240,000 people with physical resources and 1,550,000 with online support. Minus 18 takes donations online—just $6 can provide a young Australian with resources to assist in their sexuality and gender identity education.
Remember that every cent counts and even the smallest of donations can make a world of difference to those who need it.