MEJ Masthead

raize the roof: Building Hope

Molly McLaughlin

While monetary donations are essential to any charity, sometimes giving time is just as important.

That’s why Danielle Dal Cortivo and her brother Lincoln are building a charity house from the ground up with their charity raize the roof. With the help of volunteers and the local community, they have begun construction at a site in Bonner and will sell the house when it is complete. The funds raised will be donated to SOS Children’s Villages in Botswana and the Children’s Starlight Foundation.

“We chose to build a charity house because it’s a multiplier of funds; every dollar in gets a couple of dollars out,” explains Danielle. “When we started, Lincoln and our friends were mostly young professionals starting their own small business owners, so if they weren’t able to donate money they could donate their time and trade.”

When Danielle was 21, her best friend tragically passed away due to an autoimmune disease. Along with the events that followed, this completely changed Danielle’s outlook on life.

“I spent almost every day visiting Brittany while she was in hospital before she died,” she says. “Afterwards there was just a really massive gap in my life. A couple of months later I decided to go to Tanzania and volunteered in an orphanage, and that’s where I realised just how lucky we are.”

When Lincoln and Danielle decided to start raize the roof, Danielle reached out to charities in Tanzania and eventually learned about SOS Children’s Villages. Then she and the team travelled to Botswana and saw that their donation could make a real difference there. Danielle and Lincoln’s connection to the Starlight Foundation is also very personal.

“Brittany got a wish when she was 18 and I saw the joy that brought to her life, and a different one of Lincoln’s friends also received a wish, so we wanted to do something locally as well as in Botswana,” says Danielle. “It’s really important to us to have a local and an international focus, because kids are kids no matter where in the world they are.”

Danielle says raize the roof has received an overwhelming number of offers of support, from cupcakes to building materials. In addition, the annual raize the roof Gala Ball will be held on 27 August to raise essential funds.

“There are obviously still some things we can’t get donated,” she explains. “So we’re hoping to raise even more money at the Gala Ball to assist in covering the cost of the land which otherwise would come out of our profits.”

HerCanberra’s very own Amanda Whitley will be hosting the evening, with music from Amber Nichols and Minh Ha. The guest speaker will be Sebastian Terry from 100 Things, who will tell the story of his mission to achieve the 100 goals on his bucket list and raise money for charity along the way.

“Sebastian was our first pick because we wanted to really emphasise the belief that we’re so much more capable than we think we are,” says Danielle. “It was important to get someone who was inspiring and encouraging because want to create a sense of connection and community at our gala balls, and just make sure everyone has a really awesome time.”

RaizeTheRoof_Digital Poster(RGB)

the essentials

 What: Raize the Roof Gala Ball
When: Saturday 27 August 2016
Where: QT Hotel, 1 London Circuit, Canberra
How Much: Early bird tickets available for $170 until 30 June

Feature image via


Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin was less than thrilled to move to Canberra a couple of years ago to study Arts and Economics at ANU, but she can confirm the city has grown on her since then. Along with writing for HerCanberra, she spends her time reading, eating noodles and planning her next adventure. More about the Author

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