Eastern Volunteers is a not-for-profit organisation, that provides volunteer recruitment and community assisted transport across the Cities of Whitehorse, Maroondah and the Yarra Ranges. Like many community organisations, Eastern Volunteers has had a transient history, being moved from various locations over its 35 year history.
In 2006, Eastern Volunteers established the goal of wanting to purchase its own premises, providing an opportunity to establish a permanent and accessible location for the delivery of its services. To assist in this objective Eastern Volunteers established a Building Fund, diverting half of its operational surplus to enable a property purchase.
In 2011, the building that was being leased by Eastern Volunteers became available for purchase. The organisation was able to secure the property purchase with the assistance of the Mt Evelyn Branch of the Bendigo Community Bank. While Eastern Volunteers was able to secure a loan to assist in the property purchase, additional funds were required to support fit-out, cabling and relocation expenses.
As a result, Eastern Volunteers launched its Building Fund Campaign during the middle of 2011 calling on community and business donations to assist in funding the relocation expenses.
This afternoon Eastern Volunteers officially unveiled its new location at 1/36 New Street, Ringwood where donors and supporters were officially acknowledged for their efforts.
I facilitated as Master of Ceremonies for the Building Unveiling, introducing both Simon McKeon, the 2011 Australian of the Year and Inaugural Patron of Eastern Volunteers, as well as Terry Macdonald, Chairperson of Eastern Volunteers. Eastern Volunteers raised almost $34,000 through the Building Fund Campaign, with donors who contributed at least $500 receiving permanent and ongoing acknowledgement in the foyer of Eastern Volunteers.
These donors were allocated a jigsaw piece of a photograph of the new building. The jigsaw piece represents their support in buying a piece in the future of Eastern Volunteers. In addition, in-kind contributions were also recognised, highlighting the contribution that businesses have provided through discounts and support.
The Building Fund marks the start of a new future for Eastern Volunteers as it provides a permanent and ongoing head office for the organisation.