GOOD CAUSE: Northern Rivers Community Foundation hands out $133,373 to 22 community groups at the Twin Towns Masonic Centre on November 24, 2016.
GOOD CAUSE: Northern Rivers Community Foundation hands out $133,373 to 22 community groups at the Twin Towns Masonic Centre on November 24, 2016. Yvonne Gardiner

Philanthropic group relishes the gift of giving

A GROUP of givers who have donated more than $1 million in 12 years handed over their latest annual grants at Tweed Heads in November.

The Northern Rivers' only philanthropic group, Northern Rivers Community Foundation, gave away $133,373 to 22 successful applicants.

NRCF was created by generous individuals and has distributed grants across 87 organisations and 211 projects meeting social, cultural and environmental need.

A major annual grant of $25,000 went to the Katia Native Bee Youth Employment Project from the Byron Bay Herb Nursery.

The smallest grant of $1000 went to Northern Rivers Wildlife for training eight volunteers to handle venomous snakes.

NRCF'S chairman John Callanan said another 20 projects further reflected the diversity of need within the community.

"We have found the innovation, creativity, articulation and sheer enthusiasm shared by all applicants to be heart-warming," he said.

"We are seeing a new awareness and understanding of how to progress individual causes, be they from underprivileged groups, pop-up and continual arts seeding, access to health care, educational opportunities, life skills, law, justice and community connections - including social media hubs."

 

John Callanan, new Chairman of The Northern Rivers Community Fund.
John Callanan, new Chairman of The Northern Rivers Community Fund. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

BREAKING his back in a motorbike crash while aged in his mid-40s sent John Callanan's life in a new direction.

"I spent 18 months in a wheelchair and during the recovery I realised I had been given a second chance at life, so I decided to live life differently," he said.

"That led me to experience gratitude and generosity, two very important keys to success as a human being.

"And it seems to me to be inherent in human nature to be generous and giving and help others; I reckon that is how we survived as a primitive race so long ago, so I figure that supporting others, sharing and caring is in our DNA and those that allow that natural tendency to flourish seem to live happier lives."

NRCF grant recipients this year ranged from a clown doctors program at Lismore Hospital, a Northern Rivers Indigenous Communities suicide prevention program, and a deaf dance theatre workshop, to an E-space digital hub, and swimming lessons for former refugee children.

The NRCF supports social, environmental, cultural and education needs across the Northern Rivers, from Grafton, Yamba, Maclean and Evans Head to the Tweed Valley along the coast and west to Murwillumbah and surrounds and further west out to Kyogle and Casino.

If you would like details on how to become involved, go to www.nrcf.org.au.



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