Cootamundra groups hit back after revelations charity dollar does not always go where it is intended

KEEPING IT LOCAL: Can Assist volunteers Viv Christie, Neil Murray, Colleen Flynn and Marg Somers host a charity garage sale. Picture: Jennette Lees
KEEPING IT LOCAL: Can Assist volunteers Viv Christie, Neil Murray, Colleen Flynn and Marg Somers host a charity garage sale. Picture: Jennette Lees

Cootamundra charity groups have hit back after a national television program revealed the donated dollar of generous Australians is lining the pockets of large companies rather than ending up where it is needed. 

The program revealed that in the past two years, one company, which represents some of the country’s biggest charities, made $100 million from Australian charities through selling merchandise and signing up donors to monthly pledges.

The company uses front-line workers to solicit these donations on behalf of charities outside supermarkets, in airports and on the street. 

While all of the money pledged to these front-line workers initially goes into the charity’s bank account, a vast majority is then paid back as a fee to the company.

In some cases the charity is ending up with as little as seven per cent of the total raised. 

In Cootamundra, charity organisations are run to assist people in need rather than those in executive positions.

Can Assist volunteer and former president Neil Murray reiterated that 100 per cent of all funds raised by local volunteers stay in the former Cootamundra Shire area to support cancer patients. 

Mr Murray encouraged people to continue to be generous and reiterated they can rest assured not one cent of donated money ends up anywhere but where it is intended to go. 

The overarching body of the local branch, NSW/ACT Can Assist covers the insurance of volunteers, allowing them to continue with their fundraising. 

Another local charity, the Cootamundra Hospital Auxiliary, would like residents to know that 100 per cent of funds raised go to the hospital for the benefit of staff and patients from across the district.  

Auxiliary secretary Joan Collins said not only does all money go to the cause but everything the auxiliary purchases must stay in the Cootamundra Hospital. 

The Murrumbidgee Local Health District can not take items to be used in any other hospital in the district. 

Mrs Collins said the Hospital Auxiliary labels new items so the health district is aware they have been purchased for the express use of the Cootamundra Hospital.