Our first year was anything but smooth – from drought to bush fires to the COVID-19 pandemic it’s a wonder we achieved anything at all! But, thanks to the amazing dedication of our volunteer team and some incredible support from Sunshine Coast Council, program sponsors and a major donor the year ended with much to celebrate.
After six long months of fencing, rubbish removal, land preparation, construction work, facility improvement works, volunteer recruitment and training and selecting our herd of horses and ponies, we were finally ready to start programs in February 2020.
Finally being able to bring the dream to reality and start supporting children in need was incredibly rewarding and the culmination of three years of work.
Just as programs got into full swing, the COVID-19 crisis arrived and lock-down restrictions brought programs to a close for several months. The pandemic also hit our supporters hard and public donations literally dried up overnight. Regular business sponsors, forced to close their businesses, some never to re-open, were also forced to stop their financial support of the Sanctuary.
The future of the Sanctuary was looking very bleak indeed.
And then, just as everything seemed to be falling apart, we received some much needed financial support from a single donor who wishes to remain anonymous – someone who we’ve never met, who hasn’t been to the Sanctuary but who watches from a distance donated their entire COVID-19 business stimulus package to help us through this crisis.
Within a few weeks, restrictions began to lift and we were able to re-start programs. By the end of the financial year we were almost back to normal activities. Funding remains tight, donations have not yet returned to previous rates and we have just a single major cash sponsor (thank you Decjuba).
The Sanctuary would not be where it is today without:
- our major donor
- the Sunshine Coast Council
- the federal government’s COVID-19 business cash boost
- our incredible volunteer team
- our wonderful ongoing sponsors who provide us with free or discounted products and services