A warm hello from our General Manager

It has been an exciting seven months at Make a Difference with a whole world of learning and meeting new people keen to help us assist our wonderful young people. At times, as with any role it has been challenging – but the reward of helping an incredible group of young people has been fantastic.

Since our Gala Dinner in May, we have continued on our journey to double the impact of our program as we are passionate about making a life-changing impact in the lives of as many young people as possible. Helping us to achieve this was the team of over 20 runners who joined us this year for the City2Surf and raised funds towards our program. With the warm sun on our backs and stunning Bondi beach behind us, we all enjoyed a bite and drink together at the finish line with fruitful conversations, including thinking of ideas to improve our program. Mairead Erskine, a volunteer on our retreats who ran the race commented, “the vibe and energy of the day was really amazing.”

Since the run we have all been buzzing from the incredible assistance we have recently received from Adam Simpson and his team at Macquarie. Thanks to the efforts of Adam, Make a Difference was one of four charities selected this year to take part in their annual fundraiser, ‘Kilometres and Kilograms,’ where employees raise money to encourage them towards traveling as many kilometres, or losing as many kilograms, as possible within a month. We are hugely grateful for the massive contribution from Macquarie, as these funds which are in excess of $50,000, will help us achieve our goal of doubling the number of young people that we support by July 2016.

To close 2015, we are holding our next group of retreats for our wonderful young people. As many of them have found out through Zahraa leaking the surprise, we are planning on running summer beach camps on the central coast. We are so excited to be a part of this new experience with our campers and cannot wait for the fun that it will bring!

Over this next year there will be many challenges as we strive towards our FY16 goals, but we are all greatly encouraged by the steadfast support of our friends of Make a Difference. The assistance that you provide is invaluable and is what has brought us to where we are today. If you would like to help us with the journey ahead in any way, please feel free to reach out. I am always here to chat.

Warm regards,
General Manager

Color Run 2015

This year a group of our young people put their heads together to organise Make a Difference’s involvement in the 2015 Sydney Color Run. With much hard work and a ‘can-do’ attitude, they coordinated everything from the food and drinks, to signing up participants, fundraising and even running the 5kms themselves!
On the day we had the pleasure of being joined a mix of young people, new faces and old veterans. Together we all stood at the start line with anticipating beating strongly throughout us as we were enthralled by the pumping music, energetic MCs, free gifts being thrown about and the beach balls being bounced above our heads by the crowd. Then in just over 40 minutes of blood pumping excitement, we started the run!

Quick off the line with eager enthusiasm, our speed soon dropped as the length of 5kms dawned on us (although, some might argue that it was the density of the crowds that slowed us down…). At regular intervals our hopes of staying clean quickly faded as well, as groups of eager (or would you say, ‘vindictive’?) volunteers assaulted us with colour powder. Soon our white 'Color Run' shirts were spotted with pink, then yellow, then blue… and quickly they were a rainbow! If that wasn’t enough, at the end of the race we were covered with glitter and soap bubbles.

Oh… and if you thought you had any hope after all that of staying clean… well think again. At the end of the race we were greeted with free drinks, medals and little satchels of coloured powder – the colouring had just begun! Quickly those little satchels were torn apart and thrown at each other with vehemence and joy. Now it was not only our shirts covered in colour, but also our hair and faces. By the end of the day, Kevin looked like the Joker with hair that had become a more vibrant green than the grass!

Overall the day was outstanding and we all had a world of fun. Many would say that it was fun having coloured-powder thrown at you and running 5km with 16,000 people through Centennial Park, but we would all agree that the best part was being together. In the words of a favourite childhood show, ‘Madeline,’“we love our bread, we love our butter, but most of all, we love each other.”

Seeking a new Fundraising Manager

After running a hugely successful fundraising dinner on our behalf, our delightful Jane has moved onto new challenges for herself. In fact, without letting any time pass her by, Jane has already organised another Gala Dinner for another organisation – great work Jane!

We are now looking for a new Fundraising, Events and Marketing Manager to join our Make a Difference team. This position will be instrumental to our growth for years to come, enabling the core team to focus on what we do best – helping those in need, whilst also generating much needed funds to drive our program.

If you want to make an impact with your life, or you know someone who may be suitable for the role, please reach out to Ricky. The position is a part-time role and is best-suited for a hard-working, creative, outgoing individual who is ready to give things a go and who has a passion for the work we are doing. Responsibilities will include fundraising, online marketing and the coordination of events.