Charitable Donations – Making a difference

There’s that particular moment when watching International Cricket that I’m sure many of my fellow Primary Club of Australia members have experienced. It’s the moment of disappointment when an Australian cricketer gets out first ball followed by a moment of satisfaction knowing that this means Primary Club members will be making a donation that will make a difference to our charitable causes. I think it’s also safe to assume that our members have a similar moment of disappointment when an Australian cricketer gets out second ball followed by the thought … “bugger”. Alas, whether it’s a donation that comes from a Golden Duck or a donation that comes from the heart, when it comes to donating, I’ve always been satisfied knowing that 100% of my donation to the Primary Club of Australia to our charities.
Photos Jimmy Smith, popular NRL player turned commentator joined members of the Primary Club Committee at the launch of playground equipment at Tallowood School, Kellyville (lower left); Two photos of students playing on the donated equipment at the Port Phillip Specialist School; At the Chalmers Road School, Strathfield, committee members Benjamin Richards (left) and Lindy Stuart (centre) along with Karyn Tzapu, Assistant Principal (2nd right) and the school captains.

Photos Jimmy Smith,
popular NRL player turned commentator
joined members of the Primary Club
Committee at the launch of playground
equipment at Tallowood School, Kellyville (lower left);
Two photos of students playing on the
donated equipment at the Port Phillip
Specialist School; At the Chalmers Road
School, Strathfield, committee members
Benjamin Richards (left) and Lindy Stuart
(centre) along with Karyn Tzapu, Assistant
Principal (2nd right) and the school captains.

Unfortunately one aspect of donating to a charity is not being able to experience the difference that my donation makes. While I know that my donation will make a difference to organisations supporting people with disabilities, ultimately I came to accept that I would never really know the difference my donation will make. In the Primary Club we give members updates of our charitable donations via the Annual Report, on our website and in our newsletters but it was never the same as experiencing it for myself. So when I joined the Primary Club of Australia committee 10 years ago, I was thrilled to take several opportunities on behalf of the members to visit the organisations that we donated to and experience the difference that we make first hand. This year fellow Committee member and head of the Charities Committee Lindy Stuart and I visited Chalmers Road School in Strathfield and Tallowood School in Kellyville to celebrate the opening of the new play equipment donated by the Primary Club members. Both schools cater for students with special needs. Tallowood School received a grant from us in late 2013 for over $50,000 worth of playground equipment for the 100+ moderate to severe intellectually disabled children to use during their recess and lunch times. Chalmers Road School, a small public school of 70+ moderately to severely intellectually disabled children, received a grant over $35,000 for a soft fall surface for their playground. Openings usually involve The Primary Club of Australia being acknowledged in front of the children, teachers and support staff on a regular school day followed by an opportunity for the students to play on the equipment. Deb Swinton from Tallowood School said that the children have been loving having the equipment in the area and it was being used during class time as well as at breaks. What was extraordinary about our visits was seeing the children playing on the donated equipment. The children would often come over, take us by the hand and insist that we played on the equipment with them. There was little question that our donations were making a big difference as we had provided a fun and interactive environment for the children to play in. So, on behalf of all the people who have benefited from your donations, I thank the members of the Primary Club of Australia for your continued generosity towards the club, thus allowing us to continue to make a difference for organisations supporting people with disabilities. Benjamin Richards Committee Member

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