On the 11th November we kicked off our 11th DineSmart event. 150 restaurants around the country are asking diners to chip in $2 onto their bill, raising funds that will go towards tackling homelessness in local communities. The reason StreetSmart Australia exists at all is that 12 years ago our CEO and founder Adam Robinson came across StreetSmart in the UK. At the time Adam was working at a small youth service in the outer suburbs of Melbourne trying to find ways to fund their work and engage the community. It wasn’t easy. The StreetSmart UK concept of asking diners to add on a small micro donation to their restaurant bill was a brilliantly simple idea to help fund local grassroots homeless projects. Fast forward, and with your support, we have now raised $2.55 million, supporting 724 projects. But why is this funding important, is it worth all the effort? Of course it is.
The reality is that homelessness is real for around 250,000 people who access services in Australia each year. Small homeless services (such as Women’s and Youth refuges) really struggle to fundraise, they just don’t have many volunteers, sponsors or ambassadors, or the skills and resources, yet they need funds. That’s where we step in and help out. In 2013 we have funded 185 projects. It maybe funding very basic needs like new mattresses, linen, clothes, cots or toys, or it could be legal advice, education, therapy or living skills. As we kick off another DineSmart campaign through 150 wonderful restaurant partners we’d like to suggest a few ways you can help us make this another successful year to help people who are experiencing the toughest of times.
Here’s some easy ways to get involved…
1. ‘Dine Out… Help Out’ – there is a huge range from award winning top end restaurants to corner café brekkie spots and lots in between… so find your ideal spot to go DineSmart here
2. Go DineSmart when you book your Christmas or NYE catch up
3. Join the conversation and spread the word on Twitter (@streetsmartaust #DineSmart) and Facebook
4. Download a DineSmart poster and put it up at work
5. Check into participating restaurants using the YELP app, earn a badge and spread the word
Thanks for considering how you can help. As you will know StreetSmart is a tiny organization (only 1 f/t employee) and if we can all pull together and make this a great year for DineSmart we will hopefully be able to fund another 100 homeless projects in 2014.