Local charities and sporting groups have been given an early Christmas present in the form of much- needed funding from AVJennings’ Riverton community in Jimboomba.

In the first round alone, a total of $8,000 in grants were awarded to Defenders for Hope charity, Jimboomba Redbacks Football Club, Jimboomba Cricket Club and Jimboomba and Districts Cadets.

The grants will be put towards replacing flood damaged goal post pads for the Redbacks, a machine to absorb rain and excess water at the cricket club and new uniforms and training equipment for the cadets.

Riverton by AVJennings’ inaugural community grants program has already provided thousands of dollars to help boost local services, with any non-profit organisation or sporting club eligible to apply.

Defenders for Hope, a charity which assists those who have experienced domestic violence and homelessness, as well as members of the community struggling with living costs, has used its $3,000 grant to purchase a fridge and freezer to expand its new foodbank in Jimboomba.

Defenders for Hope organiser Tomeeka Smith says the foodbank, which opened in September, is expected to be even busier over the coming months as more people struggle to make ends meet over the festive season.

“We are currently helping about 45 people per week, and we expect that number to increase due to the stress and expense of the Christmas holidays, so this funding has come at the perfect time,” she said.

“While Christmas is a wonderful time of year, there are many people who find it difficult. About 40 per cent of our clients have come to us after escaping domestic violence and need our help to feed children while they get back on their feet.

“We also assist many people who are homeless, including people who are transitioning between homes or are trying to find a place to rent.

“Sadly, we also see a lot of people who are struggling due to increasing living costs, especially seniors. We do a free food hamper for seniors on Thursdays, and any member of the community can register with us to receive gifted food hampers.

“We also welcome members of the community who want to purchase discounted food hampers. We have a great selection and are much cheaper than the supermarkets.

“We’d really like to thank AVJennings for helping us to help those who need it most, especially at this time of year.”

AVJennings Project Marketing Manager, Madelaine Tiscia says the grants program is an important part of the community developer’s role in the local area.

“We are not just here to develop land and build homes, we are here to grow the community too,” Ms Tiscia said.

“Organisations like Defenders for Hope and local sporting teams are an integral part of Jimboomba – they provide much needed support and bring people together, to foster a sense of belonging.

“We are pleased to play a part in helping these groups to realise their potential and look forward to extending our support to similar groups in the future.”

Applications for Riverton’s next round of community grants will open in February 2023.

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