Emerald Messenger

This is our opportunity to share a little more of what we do within the community as well as keep you posted on all matters Halloween on the Green (HOTG) and our Free Food Program. Here is what’s happening, what’s new and what you should tell everyone about. Please help us to spread the good word about the Collective. Got some news? Let us know and we’ll add it in.

Daisy West completes the local talent line up
A hills staple is our very own Daisy West who will grace the main stage for Halloween 2020. Daisy West came to the rescue in 2019 as a last-minute replacement act and blew the gum leaves off Ferny Creek Reserve with their incomparable style. Fronted by the sublimely gifted Blin Vanheems, whose voice is as supple as it is powerful, the band melted their place in the hearts of our hill’s community who fell under the Daisy spell. We were honoured that they chose our Hotg main stage to launch their debut release, Bellis Perennis.

Daisy West are an exciting soul rock band hailing from the Dandenong Ranges and is the complementing final piece to ensure the tradition of local talent has the opportunity to showcase and shine.

Reimposed Restriction verses Planning
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created an unprecedented global situation, including right here in Victoria. All public and private events must ensure they follow the Victorian Government advice and directions issued by the Victorian Chief Health Officer including guidance on social distancing and restrictions on non-essential gatherings.
We, like everyone, continue to wait and see how the unfolding months play out as we share the disappointment of restrictions being reimposed as we unfortunately experience cluster outbreaks within our state.

We continue to remain optimistic as we move forward with the planning process for HOTG 2020. Our major sponsor, Yarra Ranges Council, require all community grant recipients to notify Council of intention to proceed by July 15th. The logistics of adding further overlays of creative endeavours continue to be workshopped to ensure we keep the festival fresh and inspired as we move forward, albeit, in uncertain times.

Our committee have resolved to postpone the event until 2021 should we be mandated to do so if community transmission continues to increase or a capping of numbers be enforced. The amount of work involved by the organising committee would not warrant producing the festival with numbers capped at 500 for public gatherings. Watch this space.

Essential Services
Personal Protective
Equipment Vigilance
Our Free Food Program volunteers have once again reinstated pre COVID-19 lockdown precautions when facilitating each of the 6 versions of the program. Team members continue with wearing disposable gloves and hair nets, masks and face shields, frequent hand sanitation and data keeping of current contact tracing lists. The practice of social distancing at all points along the collection and distribution chain continue with extra precautionary signage measures in place to alert community members collecting care boxes of produce to keep socially distancing.

Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos earlier this week said no stay-at-home directions had been issued for the hotspot areas but geographical lockdowns would not be ruled out in future.
Premier Daniel Andrews also echoed the potential strategy, claiming the National Cabinet’s roadmap out of the coronavirus pandemic had included geographical shutdowns as an option.
With our neighbouring municipality of Casey being identified as a ‘hotspot’ for community transmission, we remain vigilant to ensure we all play our part in remaining safe.

HOTG – Never in the Red
Our event is months in the planning and with the level of support from both small local businesses and large corporates towards our cause is always truly heart-warming. The number of participants may have fallen as a direct impact of COVID-19 however in-kind support has been offered in spades. We acknowledge and understand that times are tough and our organising committee have passed a resolution to not seek a financial contribution from smaller local businesses this year. We continue to engage with larger corporates for financial buy-in as we work our budget overlays to ascertain what is possible.

The Philanthropic Collectives approach to the financial structure of Halloween on the Green is to always remain in the black as with every event, regardless. We simply will not place ourselves in a position which would see us dependant on ticket sales, stall holder fees or donations on the day for the event to remain solvent or to prop-up the running costs associated with producing the festival. Everything on the day is accounted for and paid for upfront with any monies raised purely a bonus but never our motivator.

Joining the pieces through YRERN membership
Membership through Yarra Ranges Emergency Relief Network (YRERN) has enabled our small charity to build on connection with each other and be assisted with material support in real time. This month has seen us be contacted by member groups such as Holy Fools Inc and Equal Bites. We have gathered chef prepared meals, warm winter clothing and bedding for some of our most vulnerable community members as well as a pallet of Noah’s juices. None of this reach would have been attainable without this diligent level of wonderful engagement and willingness to share overlap of produce and goods across our network. From initial response to collection and same day distribution in a matter of hours is what we do best and we remain grateful to be a part of this network.

As we move forward as a collective through open and honest dialogue, we nuance what each member can bring, share and ultimately respond to as a unified group supporting our community. Thank you once again YRERN.

Time’s up to submit Grants
Several community grant opportunities are now open as our small team shift focus to throwing our hat-in the-ring in this ever competitive and crowded space. The complexity of grant submissions, the requirement for supportive documentation, detailed evidence-based data and alignment with application criteria and outcomes evaporates large amounts of energy and dedicated time. Producing high end responses which capture the true essence of what we are about and how we make a tangible difference to the lives of our community requires a unique skill set.

Unfortunately, we are not able to engage a professional grants writer and our call for experienced grant writers to assist has not yet been fruitful. Never ones to give up, our small team will do their best to submit grant applications within the time frames required. We have been fortunate to experience the benefits of access to grant funding which enables us to achieve so much more with immediate and direct positive community impact. May the best grant win!

First time grant a charm
We are pleased to announce that our humble little hills charity has welcomed our very first small grant of $500.00 through Yarra Ranges Emergency Relief Network (YRERN), sponsored by Yarra Ranges Council. Our thanks go out to both organizations. The funding will be shared across our Free Food Program volunteers as a token gesture fuel subsidy.

Our team currently clock over 11,000 kilometres over a forty-week period per year with all fuel costs absorbed solely by each of our volunteers. No team member has ever approached us for any assistance with fuel expenditure, such is the nature of the good will our team offer. It is wonderful to be able to give back just a little.

This is a remarkable achievement and testament to what a grass roots level project is empowered to achieve. We take pride in deliberately partnering with local organizations, utilizing community assets to ensure no valuable hard-earned expenditure is seconded towards overhead running costs of our program. Our high functioning, productive and amazing team of volunteers make this possible each week.

We are actively seeking sponsorship through discussion with major corporates to support our only outgoing, fuel.

Thank you team, your tireless dedication in supporting everyone in our community who needs support has become our calling card. All is possible when good will is the core value proposition.

Positions Vacant
Do you have what it takes to be our advertising representative? We are seeking a dedicated person or more to work alongside us to write copy and seek new avenue streams for advertising. The work involved is administrative and requires a high degree of competence across social media platforms and sponsor client liaison.

Raising our profile level to the many charitable endeavours we actively undertake within our community is the goal. For many years we have flown under the radar simply delivering projects without fuss, such is our style and yet we remain relatively unknown within the wider community.

With further visibility comes the ability to have further reach and access which ultimately transpires into support for our community, particularly our most vulnerable.
If you are that person or know of someone who would enjoy the role, has a mind for e-commerce and is adept with social media with time to spare please contact Andrew directly at andrew@philanthropic.org.au

Help Share the News
Please spread the word about our Free Food Program. Donations of end of day café or restaurant meals are now being sought. We will arrange for collection and door-to-door delivery to community members most in need. Check in on neighbours and please practice social distancing when you call in on them. Our Facebook and Instagram volunteers work hard to bring informative and engaging content to both platforms. Without your help these efforts will go largely unnoticed. Liking a social media post is great but commenting and sharing a post is even better. Help us reach out. Thank you!

BELINDA YOUNG
Communications Director – The Philanthropic Collective

Categories: July 2020