It is always a joy to receive an update from Adam Robinson about the progress and expansion of the social profit organisation he founded in Australia in 2002 with a mission to help those experiencing homelessness.
StreetSmart recently announced they achieved a record last year raising $420, 914.00. They achieved this by having registered participating restaurants and eateries around the country invite clients to add a $2 gold coin donation to the total of their bill at the end of a successful evening dining out in November and December.
So simple really.
The establishments participate in a friendly spirit, encouraging diners to support a cause that provides positive results for those who rely on their assistance. We can help them exceed this impressive result in 2011 and if they do it means many more can be helped.
Prominent humanitarian Tim Costello is one of Australia’s leading voices on social justice issues. He is the CEO of World Vision and also the Patron of this significant organisation, where uniquely all its administrative costs are covered through sponsorship and volunteer efforts. 100% of the money raised is distributed in the form of grants to help groups like the Choir of Hard Knocks become established.
It’s all about giving back to the community by offering a hand up to those who need it most but in a way that helps them retain their dignity and inspires them to reclaim their self esteem. The Big Issue Street Socceroos received seed funding from StreetSmart and it is now a national program backed by extensive federal government funding.
Adam stepped out of his comfort zone and away from a career in business to pursue his interest in social justice and goals for a fairer Australia. By promoting social inclusion and by achieving sustainable change society in the present and future will continue to move forward, face and surmount the many daunting social, economic and environmental challenges taking place.
In the past people such as America’s Thomas Jefferson believed each and every person had ‘inherent and unalienable rights’. These have been embraced by each and every generation that has followed. The challenge for us is that we must continue to reinterpret them as they evolve. Today it often still requires for someone to connect individually with someone who has suffered severe personal anguish to help charities make progress. That can also become transformed into outrage, which is not a helpful way forward? It is about history and hurt, rather than modern thinking based on experience, which invites us all to become dispassionate when involved in human rights based discourse. If we do then we can provide opportunities and positive outcomes for many more people.
StreetSmart only requires that we make two decisions.
The first is about asking the proprietors and people that own and work in restaurants, cafe’s and eateries we frequent regularly if they would become involved, i.e. if they aren’t already. Getting them to register with StreetSmart to participate in the 2011 dine out help out event annually is important and the sooner the better. It helps Adam and his team with forward planning.
The second is as potential diners, that at a time of the year when we are moving into holiday mode and celebrating the coming summer and Christmas season, we offer our wholehearted support for this worthwhile cause by grabbing friends and family and dining out to help out at a StreetSmart registered restaurant. It is about society taking responsibility for those who haven’t had the same luck as we have.
Regardless of what boots we were born into, food and shelter are the basic prerequisites we all crave and need if we are to face the realities of life. Compassion, innovation, resilience and adaptability are required and slow and steady will surely win the race.
While young people today are in so many ways widely informed through the benefits of social media about helping in society they are also often more vulnerable. With so much information to hand they can feel unsure of where they should start. It is up to each and everyone involved to show them how they can by example.
StreetSmart is all about the art of what is possible and the many benefits it brings to others. Would you please assist by inspiring others and spread the word about how they can support this worthy cause?
Carolyn McDowall, May 2011
StreetSmart Australia is a bridge between the community and small grassroot agencies that assist those experiencing homelessness. Ask how you can help by becoming a volunteer or a Sponsor
NSW and S.A.
Contact Adam Robinson CEO Tel: (03) 9836 1887 Fax (03) 9836 1926
Contact: State Coordinator – Michelle Falzon Mb: 0401 475 623
Contact: Natasha Quirk Mb: 0409 340 384 and Ruth Toomey Mb:0434 002366