Why your gold coin donation to Camberwell’s Rotary Sunday Market is so important
Article posted: August 25, 2022
The sound of gold coins clinking in the yellow tins of volunteers is as familiar a part of a morning at Camberwell’s Rotary Sunday Market as hot donuts, buskers, and the squeals of delight as visitors discover a great find.
As they enter Camberwell Junction’s legendary market, shoppers are greeted by the friendly Rotarians from Boroondara clubs, accepting fundraising donations alongside a warm welcome.
Yet, while a gold coin donation is small change, to those who have been supported by the charities that receive funding, it makes a world of difference.
The Camberwell Sunday Market was started in 1976 and is managed by Balwyn Rotary. This recently hit the amazing milestone of $20 million dollars in donations to charity, made up of stallholder fees and gold coin donations.
“The impact of this cannot be overstated,” said Kerry Daly, Camberwell Traders’ Association Manager.
“Market visitors probably don’t realise just how far their small donations go in supporting the community, but the collective effort has certainly been far-reaching.”
For more than 45 years, Camberwell Sunday Market has been famous for its wide range of stalls bursting with retro treasures, its friendly and lively vendors, and the simple pleasure of grabbing a coffee and donut and soaking up the atmosphere.
For the volunteers, the joy of collecting gold coin donations goes beyond a smile and friendly chat – it’s knowing the impact they made to people doing it tough in our community and beyond.
For the shoppers, it’s the act of generosity, in giving donations big and small, that makes a huge difference to the lives of people they have never met.
Supporting worthy causes
Close to home, donations benefit the local community, through the Boroondara Community Strengthening Grants program, which supports 80 – 90 local community service projects annually.
Other causes include the Box Hill Miniature Railway, Camcare, Fareshare, Autism Centre, Cerebral Palsy Education Project, community housing and Violence Free Families.
Yet, the funds raised by the Camberwell Sunday Market gold coin donations also has a far greater reach, supporting Rotary International projects, including those in Timor Leste, a dental health project in Vietnam, artificial limbs for kids in the Congo, and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
Children and young people are often the recipients of donations, like the youth development grants of the Rotary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tertiary Scholarships and Swinburne University of Technology scholarships for asylum seekers and refugees.
Secondary school public speaking competitions and national youth science forums also receive funding.
The program has provided medical research and equipment grants to help organisations such as Australian Rotary Health, Box Hill Hospital, and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.
In addition to their gold coin entry donation, some Camberwell Sunday Market shoppers throw in a little extra, while others return to drop in the change from their purchases. Some shoppers who have picked up a real bargain at the stalls decide to give back and donate a little more.
“Visitors to the Camberwell Sunday Market leave knowing that the smallest transaction of the day is making a huge difference to the lives of people in need, and that is truly something to be proud of,” said Kevin Walsh, a spokesperson for the Camberwell Sunday Market.