Stockland Shellharbour handed out care grants in the last week could that could not have come at a better time for the recipients.
The $1000 Stockland CARE Grants were presented to Illawarra Women's Health Centre, CatholicCare Wollongong, St Luke's Preschool Dapto, Wollongong Roller Hawks, Illawarra Drug Awareness and Riding for the Disabled NSW Illawarra Branch.
In the process Stockland Shellharbour centre manager Daniel Buchanan was acknowledged by one recipient for going above and beyond in his support.
Illawarra Women's Health Centre community liaison and client support manager Miranda Batchelor said when COVID-19 hit there was a concern that domestic and family violence was going to increase.
"We sent Daniel a flyer and that day he had it printed and laminated and put one in each female toilet stall at the shopping centre," Ms Batchelor said.
"We were really impressed with his immediate response. It has been really productive. We have received a lot of referrals from that. The female toilet is one place that a woman can get away from the perpetrator when she is in a shopping centre".
In 2019 IWHC received funding for The Little Bird Campaign for the distribution of small discrete cards with the words "A Little Bird Told Me" on the front.
On the other side the cards read "If you are concerned about your health, safety or wellbeing you can contact the Illawarra Women's Health Centre".
The cards have been distributed to beauty and hair salons as well as the police. There are also pens with a secret compartment with information about the Illawarra Women's Health Centre as well as services and support.
Ms Batchelor said the latest funding will be used for family planning kits to educate young women in local high schools about sexual and reproductive health.
Wollongong Roller Hawks president Geoff Adams said the $1000 will help fund a school program. Prior to COVID-19 the Roller Hawks would go around to schools with wheelchairs.
"It is a great way for the kids to get an appreciation for what our players do for sport and also what it is like to live with a disability. Controlling the chair and the ball at the same time is very different to running with a basketball".
Mr Adams said with COVID-19 the Wollongong Roller Hawks have not been able to train, compete or visit schools.
But now they are looking forward to getting back out and promoting the sport.
The season usually starts in May and the competition is now looking at a reduced tournament later this year.
Being a national league it still requires flights and accommodation and that is not going to be easy to fund in the present climate with many sponsors and fundraising events impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
"We were actually due to celebrate out 20th season this year," Mr Adams said.
"We were really excited about it but that has been put on hold as well.
"Our team is full of players who have played at the Paralympics and World Championships. And last year we won our third consecutive national championship".
Mr Buchanan said Stockland Shellharbour was proud to give back to the community it serves.
"We recognise and appreciate the incredible value that these groups bring to our local community, and are pleased to help support them in their efforts with these $1,000 grants," he said.
"We want our customers and community to thrive and these grants are one way in which we can help to achieve that.
"We are pleased to continue to support local organisations whose work, dedication and commitment are an essential part of helping our community to grow and flourish."
The six Illawarra recipients were among 266 local groups, clubs and programs nationally to share in $276,000 in grants to support health, wellbeing, community connection, education or local environmental initiatives.
Since the CARE Grants program started seven years ago Stockland has distributed over $1.7 million in funding to more than 1,500 local community groups.
Earlier this year, Stockland also pledged a donation of $500,000 to organisations including the Foundation for Regional and Rural Renewal (FRRR) and other organisations supporting the relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts of the Australian bushfires.
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