‘You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give’ – Kahlil Gibran
There are many things about the Aaron Sansoni Foundation that make it unique– first, 100% of all funds donated go directly to helping those in need without exception, because Aaron himself covers all the operating costs of the foundation. Second, each year we partner with a reputable charity that is already established and fundraise directly for them (instead of trying to reinvent the wheel!) and last, and by no means least, our supporters get the chance to donate more than just their money – they donate their time through our regular ‘Give Back’ days.
Recently, 50 of our supporters joined us for our May Give Back Day in Melbourne. We took to the streets of Melbourne to collect donations and promote conversation around homelessness within Australia. There are over 105K homeless people across the country with 18K of this being children under the age of 10, which is a devasting figure. The Aaron Sansoni Foundation team proudly raised $4287 on the day with 100% of proceeds going to feeding the homeless through our partnership with OzHarvest – that’s over 8500 meals! The Aaron Sansoni Group then matched that amount, taking the figure to just over $8000, and then Aaron himself decided to chip in, matching the amount again, taking the total amount of money raised that day to a brilliant $16,000! That is over 30,000 meals for Australians in need in just one day of work from our phenomenal supporters.
Later in the day, our supporters volunteered at St Mary’s House of Welcome. St Mary’s House of Welcome opens a door to people who are homeless or living in poverty in Melbourne. The Aaron Sansoni Foundation brought down a team to give St Mary’s House a helping hand. Together they helped provide healthy meals and care packs that included essentials for those experiencing hardship.
We also had the opportunity on the day to work with Foodbank, a non-profit organisation which acts as a pantry to the charities and community groups who feed the hungry. The Aaron Sansoni Foundation team was lucky enough to work with Foodbank and help run one of their monthly food markets at Wingate Avenue Community Centre, where team handed out fresh produce to those who struggle to put food on the table.
While collecting donations in the CBD, some of our supporters had conversations with a homeless couple they met, and felt compelled to help them out directly. After having a conversation with them, they did what felt right – they asked them, what is it that you need? And after some encouragement the couple told them a short list of necessities, which the team bought for them. The couple commented how nice it was to not have someone just shove a half-eaten sandwich in your face, or throw some coins at your feet, without even making eye contact. To actually be asked, what is it that you need? How can I help you? was much kinder.
Our Give Back days are an essential part of the Foundation, in many respects, equally as important as the monetary donations we receive. The money is ‘how’ we help, but the time donated during the Give Back days is the ‘why’ we help, it is the chance to connect with others, to hear the stories, to realise we are more the same than we are different.