A TAMWORTH business owner is doing her part to stem the rate of homelessness in the local area.
In a special fundraiser event on Friday, Gemocha owner Trudi Martin is hoping local coffee lovers will open their hearts and donate to her CafeSmart event, which will directly benefit people living under dire circumstances in the local community.
Having been involved in numerous community organisations, Ms Martin believes the extent of the homelessness plight in Tamworth is underestimated and she hoped her fundraiser would help in some way.
“We are having a promotion to try and raise money to fight homelessness and to support homelessness programs," she said.
“It’s a program called CafeSmart that originated in Sydney and all the funds raised will go to supporting programs in our local area. So people can come in and make a donation, but for every cup of coffee that’s sold I will donate one dollar towards the program.
“I think we have a problem with homelessness in this area and I'm a member of Zonta and one of the key objectives of Zonta is enhancing the status of women and children and we know from our work in this area that a lot of women and children in Tamworth have housing difficulties and I think that any program that can contribute something to help those people is something that we should be encouraging.”
Ms Martin, who has owned Gemocha for about 7 months, said she became involved with CafeSmart because it was a unique concept to the city.
“I looked on the web and there was no one else in Tamworth doing it and I thought what a great idea – it supports what I like to do and what our staff wanted to support, so it’s a program that we can use to do our bit for community that we serve.”
She said the upcoming event was well received with her regular clients so far.
“Most people are very supportive, we’ve got a little donation box on our counter already and a lot of people have donated to that, or said that they’re not able to come on the day and have put money into the box.
“That’s great, but we really want people to come on the day, or if they can’t, just to give us a donation at some point,” Ms Martin said.
“I don't think we have enough (support services and housing) in Tamworth, I think we need to get some more and anything we can do is always a positive.”
Ms Martin said the fundraiser would run from 8am until 5.30pm on Friday August 5, with locals welcome to come in on the day and support the cause.
She said plans were underway for a fundraising event for the RSPCA in the near future.