In the short two and a bit years since we launched publicly we’ve helped to fund three wheelchair vehicles or vehicle modifications – and we are currently running Harry’s Appeal to get Harry back on the road too.
It’s a hard slog. On average, $40,000 is needed each time. In the first three occasions each of the families had some major support behind them and that, combined with the efforts of our wonderful IGAB community, made sure that the appeal targets were raised in less than 2 months for each.
We know that funding for wheelchair accessible vehicles, or modifications to the existing family car to enable wheelchair access is a major issue for families across the country. There is no government funding at all for the purchase of the vehicle and only VIC offers any funding support for a vehicle modification – and that’s just $10,000, well short of what’s needed.
No charities or welfare organisation in Australia fund vehicles either.
There are so many families so desperate for help and we’d love to find a way of doing that but it would seem that our membership is just too small at present.
When we received Harry’s application late last year we knew that the family had a little support from their local community, but nowhere near the level enjoyed by the previous three families, and so we thought it was time to test how we might go with trying to fund the full cost of the vehicle ourselves through our normal appeal process.
Seven weeks after launching Harry’s Appeal to raise $55,000 we’ve raised just $12,500. That’s a pretty clear indication to us that, for whatever reason, we are not in a position to successfully run appeals for such large amounts yet.
We are going to continue with Harry’s Appeal until it’s finished, and today sees the launch of Zac’s Appeal (for the last $5,000 needed for a vehicle modification) but we have regrettably decided that we can no longer accept applications for funding for wheelchair accessible vehicles or vehicle modifications.
We’ll be keeping the issue on our radar though. Once we think that our membership has grown to a level that might better support such appeals we’ll give it another shot but I’d imagine that to be at least 2 years away.