Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS)

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The Rotary Club of Erina has been involved in the Compassionate Matched Grant program in recent years. The following is an overview of the scheme and its benefits.

Compassionate Matched Grant

In January 2017, RABS announced its Compassionate Grants program to help Australians in need.

As a result of a second $1,000,000 donation to Rotary by Dick Smith, grants will be assessed by the Rotary Australia Benevolent Society (RABS) and funds distributed to disadvantaged Australians identified by local Rotary Clubs or Rotary Districts as being in need within their local or wider community.

Projects granted funding must meet RABS criteria for registration. They must provide direct relief to people in need. If the intended recipients are disadvantaged, the relief should target that disadvantage. The concept of disadvantage is unlimited

and could have arisen from sickness, suffering, distress, misfortune, disability, destitution, helplessness or poverty, any aspect of the negative side of the human condition. The criteria are not prescriptive but are to be used as a guide to determine the disadvantage.

In addition to meeting RABS criteria, Compassionate Grants were only approved where the project funds were to be directed to people in need or to benefit a section of a community rather than the community as a whole. A project should arouse compassion within the community.

Priority for grants will be given to those whose disadvantage has arisen from an “ad hoc” event over which the disadvantaged had no control, such as an accident, assault, medical condition, drought, flood or fire etc.

Grants matched club’s fundraising on a dollar for dollar basis subject to the following:

Qualifying projects had to have a minimum value of $2,000 (ie a minimum grant of $1,000) and each Club or District was limited to two grants in any calendar year, subject to a maximum grant total of $10,000.

Sample projects where person or group was potentially disadvantaged under the above criteria:

  • Provision of a modified family motor vehicle for a 6 year old with cerebral palsy
  • Modifications to a home to assist access and functionality for a quadriplegic
  • Financial assistance for a seriously injured sportsman’s family
  • Ongoing support for non PBS medicines for a sufferer of Lymes disease
  • Provision of a specialised bed for a person with Parkinson’s Disease
  • Supply insulin pumps to three children with juvenile diabetes
  • Provision of improved prosthetics for an amputee
  • Assistance to a family who lost everything in a fire
  • Provision of financial assistance to a young family whose mother drowned

For more information go to https://rawcs.org.au/projects-2/rotary-australia-benevolent-society/dick-smith-matched-funding-grant/