40,000 reasons to smile

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Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

40,000 reasons to smile

Alocal charity fundraiser has raised over $40,000 for the Limestone Coast’s most vulnerable.

The Four Reasons Why Community Luncheon was held at The Commodore with 160 individuals from a variety of local businesses in attendance to support the worthwhile cause.

The event included guest speakers, lucky squares, a raffle, silent auction, drink on arrival and a two course meal.

Four Reasons Why founder Trudy Shelton spoke about the initiation of the charity and Mount Gambier Emergency Department director Gus Kigotho, originally from Kenya, talked about why he chose to live in Mount Gambier out of everywhere in Australia.

Four Reasons Why (FRW) board chair Di Ind said the community luncheon was initiated to not only raise funds but more importantly to raise awareness of the local charity.

“We as a board are overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of so many within the community whether they donate $5, $10 or much more than that,” she said.

“They all want to help and ensure that we as a community help those that are most at need and those that are feeling high levels of vulnerability.

“Quite frankly we rely wholly and soley on donations from the community.

“Unfortunately, we have been unable to secure any local, state or federal funding to help us so we decided to try something different.”

Ms Ind said the cost of living “without doubt” and the worryingly high increase in domestic violence has put pressure on other charities and led to an influx of requests to FRW.

“A lot of other agencies and services are maxed out, they cannot take any more requests for help but we as a board have a fund that allows us to be able to give help pretty much instantly to people that reach out to us and really help them to get out of survival mode and into feeling like they are able to cope with life at the moment,” she said.

“We are helping mums and dads leave their homes and we try to help them so they are not living in their cars and help them get into other safe spaces to live.

“It is about recruiting kindness warriors, we have got a lot of people in our community that are doing it very, very tough and our resources within the community are stretched to the limit.

“None of us can do it on our own, we need to all work together and being kindness warriors is really about sitting back and thinking ‘my life might be great but how can I make somebody else’s life so much better’.

“We have been able to provide help and support to people who reach out to us and we are able to do it very quickly.”

Ms Ind said the event’s overwhelming success meant the Four Reasons Why board would “absolutely” look to continue the fundraiser.

“What we would like to do is try and make this a biennial event. We are kind of thinking that we will do this in alternate years and hopefully we can build on it,” she said.

“An event like this is a lot to organise plus we have got other amazing charities that have events that are well established as well so we do not want to infringe on their space.”

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