As the temperature drops and the days darken, we feel strongly for those struggling through the Canberra winter.
This year has been tough for many Canberrans, with local organisations seeing an increased need for help. If you have the means, why not give a little to a local charity or organisation that is working tirelessly to support the Canberra community—whether it’s through clothing, shelter, food, or emotional support? Or push yourself to volunteer for a day or an event that’s running over the winter?
Warm up your heart and soul through an act of kindness (or two!) from our list of local charities that need it most right now.
ACT PET CRISIS SUPPORT
Sometimes when people face disadvantage, so can their furry, four-legged friends. ACT Pet Crisis Support provides subsidised veterinary care for disadvantaged pet owners in the local region, aiming to avoid euthanasia, surrender and the suffering of beloved family pets.
Learn more here.
Providing care for vulnerable children exposed to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as neglect, exploitation, and homelessness, Barnardos Australia believes all children and young people deserve caring families in which they can grow safely and fulfil their potential.
Canberra’s centre has been operating for more than 40 years, offering family support, out-of-home care, and supported accommodation services. You can find out how to help here.
Offering support to women diagnosed with breast cancer, Bosom Buddies is an organisation run by volunteers providing a support network to breast cancer patients and their families and supporters. All volunteers at Bosom Buddies have experienced breast cancer, either themselves or through someone they love and use that experience to help others.
Learn how to get involved, donate, or gain some breast cancer awareness here.
CANBERRA COMMUNITY LAW
Offering legal services for people on low incomes or facing disadvantage, Canberra Community Law helps those struggling to help themselves, offering assistance with Housing Law, Street Law and more.
You can volunteer or donate to help them help others.
CANBERRA CITY CARE
Canberra City Care provides practical help for people experiencing financial hardship, including affordable food, clothing, and computers.
They also teach money management courses to help people budget without stress. You can donate here. Make sure to select Canberra City Care from the dropdown options.
CANBERRA STREET CAT ALLIANCE
Canberra Street Cat Alliance aims to humanely reduce the population of street cats in Canberra and the surrounding region, through their Streets to Sheets adoption program and the barn cat program.
Learn more about volunteering and fostering, or leave a donation here.
Dry July is a fundraiser that encourages Australians to go alcohol-free in July each year to raise funds for people affected by cancer.
Not only will you feel better yourself, but you will be raising funds to provide invaluable services for cancer patients, their families and carers—whether it’s a lift to a life-saving appointment, guidance from a specialist nurse, connection to an informative voice, access to therapy programs or a bed close to treatment.
You can sign up or donate here.
With a vision of a world free from violence and abuse, donations for the Domestic Violence Crisis Service go directly to support front line services.
Make a donation here to break the circle and change the lives of the men, women and children who are experiencing domestic violence.
GIVE ME 5
Give Me 5 is raising funds to support speciality equipment, therapeutic programs and more for sick kids in the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children.
Helping to provide lifesaving medical aid and put smiles on the faces of children staying at the hospital, you can see what your donation will go towards purchasing here.
Have furniture or other household goods you no longer need? Consider donating them to GIVIT. With a never-ending list of what’s needed and where, thanks to GIVIT thousands of donations have been matched between locals who have and those who don’t.
Give, list an item, and find more information here. You can also give time or funds!
HANDS ACROSS CANBERRA
Looking for local charities to support but don’t know where to start? Hands Across Canberra was founded with the idea that community funds stay in the community.
Working with more than 250 community organisations, they offer permanent support through an endowment fund, giving regular grants to those most in need.
You can choose where you want your donation to go or make a general donation to Hands Across Canberra here.
KARINYA HOUSE FOR MOTHERS AND BABIES
Karinya House believes every woman who is pregnant or parenting should be surrounded with the support she needs.
Walking alongside the women of Canberra and the surrounding region, they provide safety, shelter, and a positive support network.
Find out how every donation makes a difference here.
Providing 24/7 support to those experiencing a crisis, Lifeline provides support through over-the-phone counselling, as well as running fundraising events such as book fairs and physical challenges. Keep an eye out for the Southside Bookfair (which is coming up at Tuggeranong Southern Cross Basketball Stadium from the Wednesday 14 to Friday 16 July).
Find out about when more events are on, fundraising opportunities and how to access support here.
Located on Genge Street in the city, Missionheart provides a place to drop in for meals, coffees, and a chat for anyone who needs it in Canberra. They also provide resources such as warm blankets and shelter to anyone in need of some extra warmth this winter.
You can learn more about how to donate or volunteer here.
Providing outreach in the ACT, Mobilise strives to provide recognition and functional care to the homeless, to educate and raise awareness to the broader society and to be a platform that creates change through connection.
You can get involved or donate here.
A load of washing can be life-changing for those that have nothing or are struggling to make ends meet. By improving access to laundry facilities and providing a place for connection and conversation, Orange Sky Laundry gives hundreds of residents the basic necessity of wearing clean clothes.
Give, volunteer, and find more information here.
A regular hot meal can be life-changing for a couch surfing teen. Thanks to OzHarvest Canberra, tonnes of quality food is reclaimed each month from local restaurants and supermarkets and redirected to frontline charities.
Give, volunteer, and find more information here.
There are plenty of ways to help the Red Cross this winter. One of the most crucial donations they need is blood and plasma so if you’re healthy and have an hour or two to spare, why not donate?
Alternatively, you can always contribute to one of the many fundraising appeals that help vulnerable people, including crisis appeals and disaster recovery.
Learn more about how to help here.
RISE ABOVE – CAPITAL REGION CANCER RELIEF
Based in Queanbeyan, Rise Above has been providing financial support to individuals based in the ACT and region receiving treatment for any form of cancer since 1986. With currently close to 300 cancer patients registered with them, the support they provide is aimed at making the cancer journey that little bit easier.
Find out more here.
RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CANBERRA
Over 200 families call Ronald McDonald House in Canberra home each year. Travelling back and forth for medical treatments can be an exhausting and a financial impossibility for many people. Ronald McDonald House has created a home away from home for families with seriously ill children to try and lessen a little bit of that burden.
There are many ways you can contribute to the programs being run, including Ronald McDonald Houses, Family Rooms, Family Retreats, and the Learning Program.
You can find out more about how you can donate, volunteer, or host a fundraiser here.
Gladly accepting preloved baby and children’s items, Roundabout Canberra makes sure they get to families in need through their network of community and not-for-profit organisations.
Working directly with social workers and social services agencies, they make sure every donation is available in a great condition to offer dignity to children.
You can donate goods or money here.
Each year thousands of animals will call RSPCA ACT home. At the RSPCA animals can receive much needed medical attention and the chance to find a new home, with no animals euthanised due to space constraints at the Weston Creek site.
Visit the RSPCA page to learn how you can volunteer, foster, adopt, or donate to animals in need.
SALVOS RED SHIELD APPEAL
A mammoth effort on behalf of their volunteers, The Salvos strive to make their Red Shield Appeal the biggest it can be each year to provide services such as addiction recovery, homelessness accommodations, legal and youth services and more across the winter months and beyond.
Donate to The Salvos here to make a difference.
SHARE THE DIGNITY
Access to period products is a basic right, but for many people experiencing homelessness, it’s hard to get basic necessities. Thanks to Share the Dignity, hundreds of people with uteruses across the ACT can now take comfort knowing they are supplied with pads and tampons.
Give or find your nearest donation point and more information here.
Across Canberra, there are various street pantries that are always calling for donations to help men, women, and children.
Visit the Canberra Street Pantry Facebook Group to learn what they need and how to donate.
ST JOHN’S CARE
St John’s Care is an Emergency Relief Centre supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable Canberran’s by providing them with basic support like food, clothing, bedding, transport and healthcare assistance, as well as more complex forms of support such as Case Management and referrals to specialist services.
Currently supporting over 350 households each month, find out more about their Winter 2023 Appeal here.
TOORA WOMEN INC
Toora Women Incorporated is a not-for-profit organisation that helps support women facing domestic violence, their own or others’ alcohol or drug addictions, mental health issues and homelessness.
See toora.org.au to donate now.
VINNIES CEO SLEEP OUT
The Vinnies CEO Sleepout is a one-night event over one of the longest and coldest nights of the year. This year it is being held on Thursday 22 June at the Garden of Australian Dreams in the National Museum of Australia, to raise funds for those experiencing homelessness and disadvantage in the ACT and surrounds.
To find out how to nominate a CEO, register or donate visit Vinnie’s CEO Sleepout here.
VINNIES NIGHT PATROL
Staying out in the cold when no one else wants to, the Vinnies Night Patrol is a beacon for Canberra’s homeless, providing warm drinks, hot food, and conversation when it feels like no one else is there.
Operating seven nights a week you can donate time or money to Vinnies to help those out in the cold. Find more information here.
YWCA Canberra is a feminist non-for-profit organisation that has provided community services and represented women’s issues in Canberra for over 90 years.
Offering domestic violence support services, housing, youth engagement and more, donations improve outcomes for women, girls, and their families across the ACT. Donate here.