On the last day of February we witnessed something that had never happened before in living memory. Something that wrecked absolute havoc on our community. Many of us had no choice but to swing into action and help people whose lives had been totally smashed by a deluge the likes of which noone had seen in living memory.
We cooked meals, we donated our time, we gave out cups of tea, we opened our homes, we provided shelter for people who had lost everything overnight. It was amazing to see the impact that even a smile had on people during that incredibly tough time.
The government eventually stepped in to help but it was the community that was there on the ground from the get go. And at their annual grant giving event, the Northern Rivers Community Foundation honoured those grassroots groups and provided them with funds from generous donors – no strings attached – to continue their good work into the future.
I was delighted to be the Mistress of Ceremony for the evening, nestled in a community of people who care so deeply about one another. And if this crazy old year has shown us anything, it’s just how big the region’s collective heart is.
It was particularly inspiring to hear from NRCF’s Patron, John Callanan, who said that the organisation gave over a million dollars in grants to 49 recipients this year and has clocked up $5mill since its inception. It’s amazing what local changemakers can do!