Each year, the non-profit organisation distributes the proceeds from its Op Shop to local organisations across the City as well as financial donations and bequests.
SMCC President Gary Hutchens said he enjoyed gathering with the grant recipients to present the cheques alongside Port Phillip Mayor Heather Cunsolo on 14 November.
“It’s a really satisfying day for many in the Port Phillip community,” he said.
“The thing that appeals to me is that you’re seeing the community giving back to the community. We rely on community donations for the Op Shop and when we sell them, the profits we make are handed back to the community.”
Some of the grant recipients for 2022 include:
- Rotary Port Phillip: to assist its work creating backpacks for essential items for children in crisis
- Albert Park College: to provide music scholarships for six disadvantaged students
- Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project: to provide fresh food vouchers for people seeking asylum
- Napier Street Aged Care Services: to fund the restoration of a garden with suitable plantings.
SMCC volunteers had good reason to celebrate with a record number of grantees named and the largest amount of funding ever distributed by the Community Chest.
“It was a beautiful day and one that we all look forward to every year. We get a sense of reward for the hard work we’ve all put in, but more importantly for the contribution we’re making to the Port Phillip community,” Hutchens said.
SMCC was created following World War II in November 1946 as an umbrella charity fund in the City of South Melbourne. The organisation has seen many iterations throughout this time but has stuck true to its vision of bringing together local residents, Council, the business community and other community-based organisations in a common effort to advance the welfare of the Port Phillip community.
In recent times, SMCC has donated almost $2 million in grants to community organisations across Port Phillip. Council is proud to support the Community Chest by leasing the Op Shop property at a peppercorn rent.
SMCC is looking for new volunteers and encourages those interested to visit their website: South Melbourne Community Chest.