Federation University has again thrown its support behind the 3BA Winter Appeal to help Ballarat's most vulnerable families.
The university's traditional fundraising lunch and auction has been cancelled this year due to COVID-19, but fundraising efforts continue with donations and an online auction.
"Now more than ever, we need to come together as a community to support those who are most in need," vice-chancellor and president Professor Duncan Bentley said.
3BA community appeals ambassador Peter Caligari said the winter appeal relied heavily on the support of Ballarat businesses.
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"One excellent example is Federation University which for many years conducted a special fundraising lunch and auction to support the appeal, with this event raising many thousands of dollars for the appeal, along with a huge quantity of food items donated by their staff and students," Mr Caligari said.
"The generosity of local business to provide a wonderful variety of valuable items for the auction also played a key role in its success."
Mr Caligari said the ongoing snap lockdowns were making it difficult for the appeal but a vast amount of food items and blankets had already been provided to the four major welfare agencies, Uniting Ballarat, Anglicare and St Vincent de Paul Society.
In the coming weeks, these agencies will be able to access many thousands of dollars worth of food items from Ryan's IGA supermarkets through cash donations which have been made to the 3BA Winter Appeal.
"Since late May the many less fortunate families throughout the Ballarat area have been receiving valuable support and assistance from these charities as a result of the 3BA Winter Appeal," he said.
"The current extremely cold weather is a perfect example of why the annual 3BA Winter Appeal is of such huge importance to Ballarat.
"We urge people to lend a warm and most welcome helping hand to our families most in need."
Federation University's online auction will run until July 27. Auction items include a 2021 signed and framed Western Bulldogs guernsey, Gold class screening for 28 people, $500 Shaw Cycling Centre gift voucher, $200 Stockland Wendouree voucher and 12 months UniSports family gym/swim membership.
Residents wishing to support the appeal with donations of food items and blankets can leave these items at the Salvation Army on the corner of Eureka Street and Main Road, Ballarat.
Cash donations to the appeal can be made by visiting the 3BA website which provides details of 3BA's Community Appeals.
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