There is a hell of a lot of good people out there, doing a lot of good work. Because we all need a little bit of good karma in our lives, we’ve found six underrated but seriously impressive not-for-profit organisations (NFP) based in the inner north, but making a difference right across Victoria.
This sustainably minded NFP wants to bridge the gap between green- fingers in the community and local government policy so all of Melbourne’s unused or simply under-used land can be repurposed as community gardens. The website is loaded with more than 100 active and potential locations across all the local councils so whether you’re an avid gardener or just want to reap the rewards of fresh produce, 3000 Acres can help you start from the ground up or connect you with fully functioning gardens in your area.
There are sites sprouting up all around the inner north including the Cecil St Community Garden in Fitzroy as well as a whole lot of potential locations, head to the 3000 Acres website to get involved.
Centre for Multicultural Youth
Australia is a bloody diverse nation, and CMY, based in Carlton, are making sure young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds have every opportunity they can, are understood, respected and able to shape their own future down under. A new country is a scary place and CMY work to make everything from understanding the migration system, to finding a local footy team just a little bit easier. The youth are the core of this NFP, with a Youth Advisory Group set up to help determine the best ways for CMY to help other Young migrants. And that’s still not all they do, CMY produce strategies to continue to influence policy development and the main players within it.
You can get involved with CMY on their website.
The Song Room
Even the most musically challenged can appreciate a good tune, and The Song Room, based in Prahran but running programs locally and nationally, want every Aussie child to be able to get involved in music right from the start. Every week their programs help 15,000 students across the country get better grades, feel better mentally and most importantly, they actually want to go to school. This NFP works with schools to create music and arts programs that meet the needs of a diverse range of kids, but is genuinely something that can be supported even when The Song Room are gone.
If you know a school that needs The Song Room or want to find out what else they get up to head to their website.
Community Broadcasting Foundation
Chances are, you’re favourite radio or TV presenter started out on a community broadcaster. They’re integral, not just to foster fantastic comedians for breaky radio but for local communities and marginalised groups to have a voice so often muffled in the mainstream media. No one understands that better than The Community Broadcasting Foundation; an independent agency, based in Parkville, that help secure and distribute funding for community TV and radio. Every year they provide more than $17 million in grants to 230 community broadcasting groups.
If you want to apply for a grant or support the CBF check out their website.
This NFP gives women who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation or work in the sex industry a safe, non-judgmental community for support and referral. The project’s scope is right across the industry, from submitting a police report, to visiting Victoria’s brothels just to make sure women know they are there. The organisation doesn’t take ‘clients’ it makes friends, and builds relationships. The Project is open to any and every woman seeking support, comfort and help with the next step.
Find out more about the work Project Respect do on their website.
Have you ever wondered what the bakery around the corner does with all the leftovers at the end of the day? Because chances are it goes straight in the bin. That is what FareShare want to stop. This NFP rescues food from supermarkets, cafes and bakeries and uses it to make healthy meals for people in need. The organisation has gained a lot of momentum since 2000, when one of the founding fathers, Guizo Pozzebon was cooking 300 pies every Saturday from leftovers for the Salvation Army and St Vincent De Paul. Now the NFP are cooking up 5000 meals every single day in Australia’s largest charity kitchen. FareShare provide food for several soup vans, homeless shelters and food banks across Victoria.
If you fancy yourself a cook, or even if you don’t and still want to help-out, there is a full list of charities FareShare work with on their website.
Feature Image Credit: Meggs