Teeing off for charities

By Casey Neill

A charity trio will share the funds raised at next year’s Take a Swing for Charity golf day.
The Settler’s Run Golf and Country Club in Botanic Ridge will host the annual SEBN event on Monday 26 February.
SEBN manager Sandra George announced that Cornerstone Contact Centre, Avocare and WeCare Community Services in Dandenong North would benefit from the golf round, auctions and raffles.
She said the event was entering its ninth year and had raised more than $300,000 for local charities.
Cornerstone Contact Centre CEO Stephen Barrington said the proceeds would this time help to fund 1000 hygiene packs for the homeless.
“Basic stuff that we have in our cupboard every day,” he said.
It will also pay for backpacks loaded with stationary “so kids can go to school on an equal footing” and breakfast clubs.
“Secondary schools seem to miss out,” Mr Barrington said.
So the charities will set up clubs for at least three high schools over the next 12 months.
He said students were turning up to school hungry because there was no food at home.
“That has an impact on their learning,” he said.
That impact ranged from concentration to behaviour and social skills.
“We want to be able to give children a better start,” he said.
Mr Barrington said Cornerstone, Avocare and We Care shared more than 40 years of experience.
He said they would be coming together monthly with other charities in a bid to share ideas and resources.
“We’ve seen a new face of poverty,” he said.
He said families were struggling with the spiralling cost of day to day living.
“Lots of families just one pay packet away from homelessness,” he said.
“Many come to food relief once or twice a week because it helps them pay the rent and keep their kids in schools.”
Mr Barrington recalled a family of four seeking his help a few weeks ago after a nurse discovered they’d been living in a car for three weeks.
“They’d never accessed the welfare system,” he said.
“They had no idea where to go for help.”
Visit www.greaterdandenong.com for more information or to get involved.