Dine Smart, StreetSmart Australia’s annual fundraising initiative, launched last week and will run until New Year’s Eve.
Now in its twelfth year, the campaign’s simple formula makes it easy for anyone to get involved and raise much-needed funds for local grassroots charities supporting homelessness.
Restaurants participating in DineSmart this year include hot venues such as China Lane, Cho Cho San, Bishop Sessa, Bloodwood, Mamasita, Chin Chin, Pei Modern, Kong, Stokehouse, Hatch and Co and Windy Point. Longstanding DineSmart participants include Cutler and Co Dining Room and Bar, Ezard, Punch Lane, Cafe Sydney, Fix St James, Longrain, The Commoner, Olé, Urbane, The Euro and Mecca Bah.
DineSmart is run by restaurants Australia-wide that ask patrons to add a small $2 donation to their bill. The initiative has raised over $2.4 million since it started in 2003, where the money collected is donated directly to support homeless refuges and charities selected based on their need and proximity to participating restaurants.
StreetSmart’s grants, including those from DineSmart, support a diverse range of projects including food, shelter, and funding for the ‘hard to reach’ projects that have limited resources to fundraise themselves. Critical services and emergency aid are also supported, as well as projects that promote social inclusion, empowerment and sustainable change for homeless people.
StreetSmart Australia CEO Adam Robinson said, “Dining out is a popular social activity, especially during the silly season, and DineSmart is a small but effective way to help those in need. Everyone can take part in DineSmart and make a valuable contribution – from simply organising your annual work Christmas party at a StreetSmart restaurant, to booking a table with a group of friends.”
Last year’s DineSmart campaign raised $445,921 and funded 119 grassroots projects that are delivering emergency aid, as well as longer term programs helping to move people out of homelessness.
At many of the participating restaurants, over 100% of patrons contribute towards DineSmart and often donate extra. It comes down to people wanting to assist, with DineSmart being an easy way to support smaller organisations nearby to participating restaurants that struggle with funding.
One hundred percent of funds raised by participating restaurants go towards homeless organisations. Uniquely, all administrative costs to run StreetSmart are covered through sponsorship and volunteer efforts.