Hands Across Canberra, now in its fourth year, has once again shown the extensive benefits of grouping together worthwhile organisations under their umbrella. They receive donations from a wide range of generous Canberrans, invest it and disperse it for a mix of needs and benefits.
It gives so many of the smaller support and charitable organisations a helping hand, as well as larger ones with well developed plans that will benefit many. To this end the annual Hands Across Canberra Lunch invites representatives of an ever increasing range of organisations, places them at tables with local Canberrans who’ve become foundation members of Hands Across Canberra, representatives of businesses finding new ways to be responsible corporate partners and locals who just want to help. $70,000 was shared among ten organisations at this year’s lunch.
Guest speaker was Harold Mitchell. A favourite in this town for his regular spots on 666 ABC with Alex Sloan where he talks and she listens and occasionally prompts, and much missed as the former chair of the NGA Council, where his can do attitude made some great things happen. And he did just that for Hands Across Canberra with a $20,000 donation from his Foundation. How good is that?
But for us too it was an insight into the man who has made millions, lost it too,mixes and mingles with the upper echelons of Australian society while maintaining his disarming generosity of spirit – “I gave $10 million to the Foundation, my wife said she didn’t know we had that much money”, his honesty – “I was an alcoholic, but got over that” and integrity, telling us how we too can make a difference.
The example of that left to a young girl, Paris McMahon, with her DVD produced to explain her commitment to Hands Across Canberra and how she has become a very young and generous entrepreneur. Listen Learn and be Inspired was the message and we heard it clearly.