John Lee with his new van to help the homeless through his charity, You Have a Friend.
John Lee with his new van to help the homeless through his charity, You Have a Friend. Photo supplied

Charity opens third centre

JOHN Lee’s Christmases have all come at once with government funding paving the way for his charity.

Mr Lee said his charity, You Have a Friend, would be able to open a third outreach centre thanks to a Volunteer Grant from the Federal Government of $4900.

“We did the research and an outreach centre costs $4700 to open so we will be able to do that with the grant,” Mr Lee said.

“We will also be able to pay for fuel, food and utensils for a year.

“The money will keep the outreach centres open for another year.”

You Have a Friend will open an outreach centre at Chinderah and with the government funding Mr Lee said he planned to open a third centre in the new year.

“The third outreach centre will either be at Uki or Pottsville because there are a lot of people in those places who can’t get to Murwillumbah to see us,” Mr Lee said.

“I also fundraised this year to buy a second-hand van because I couldn’t get any grants to help buy it.

“We had been struggling to cope and we sold a lot of chocolate frogs to come up with the money for the van.”

Mr Lee said Rotary Club of Murwillumbah had agreed to sponsor the charity to provide signage on the 11-seater van.

Richmond MP Justine Elliot said organisations would benefit from a pool of volunteer grants totalling $236,834.

“Grants of between $1000 and $5000 are provided to non-profit organisations to support their volunteers and encourage volunteering,” Ms Elliot said.

“For many local volunteer organisations these grants provide the opportunity to purchase new equipment and cover the cost of fuel.”

The Government’s Volunteer Grants for 2009 were given to more than 20 Tweed Shire organisations this year.

Groups to earn funds:

Murwillumbah Red Cross $2,000

Tweed Heads Red Cross $2,000

Beachside Church Pottsville $5,000

Blind Citizens Australia, Tweed $3,700

Friends of the Pound Tweed $2,000

Kids In Need Association Banora Point $2,700

Kingscliff Amateur Swimming Club $2,500

Kingscliff District Soccer Club $4,000

Murwillumbah High School Parents and Citizens $4,500

Murwillumbah Netball Association $3,200

Murwillumbah Pony Club $3,000

Murwillumbah Rowing Club $5,000

Quota International of Murwillumbah $2,000

Riding for the Disabled, Murwillumbah $2,000

Rotary Club of Coolangatta/Tweed $5,000

Rotary Club of Tweed Heads South $2,900

South Tweed Colts Cricket Club $4,900

Tennis Terranora $3,000

Wollumbin Bicycle User Group $2,600

Tweed Coast Junior Touch Association $1,500

Tweed Heads SES $4,400

Tweed Heads Soccer Club $2,000



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