Remember CafeSmart from June 7 this year, which saw cafes across the country donating $1 from each coffee sold? The figures are in, and this year the Australian coffee scene has once again prevailed, raising $83,950 worth of much-needed grants for organisations that support people who are homeless or at risk. A shout out to all those espresso-sipping caffeine addicts: CafeSmart couldn’t have done it without you.
With the slogan ‘drink coffee, do good’ the annual CafeSmart event (an initiative of grassroots charity organisation StreetSmart) aims to make a difference by giving the public the chance to help those in need by simply purchasing a coffee.
“I think it’s important that events like CafeSmart take place because it gives people a way to help out. It’s an easy way for small businesses and the general public to get involved,” says founder Adam Robinson.
In Sydney, grants have helped assist the Outreach Support Networking Group at Killara Women’s Refuge, a community meals program at Coast Community Centre and emergency relief for women who are homeless at The Women’s Cottage.
In Melbourne, the money raised has assisted with the purchase of new mattresses for beds at a men’s hostel, kids sleepwear at an Aboriginal service and baby essentials packs for young parents. Funding has also been allocated towards a program enabling dads to stay connected with their children, a hospitality and training program for young people and a Christmas dinner for The Big Issue’s vendors.
“It’s funding that’s desperately needed. CafeSmart gives us as a community a way of contributing to the issue of homelessness in a very practical way” says Robinson.
If you’re disappointed about missing out on your coffee purchase on June 7 (and subsequently a donation), you can give something back by eating out at one of the restaurants involved in next month’s DineSmart initiative – which simply asks that you add a $2 donation to your bill.
“If people are planning a Christmas dinner or organising a work function, I’d ask them to check out the restaurants that are involved around the city and to contribute on their bill,” says Robinson.
You can view the list of participating DineSmart restaurants here.