At the end of last year, Vanderfield joined forces with Scripture Union and the Artesian Foundation to create the Backing our Youth initiative. This project raises funds to support the work Scripture Union chaplains do among young people in regional Queensland.
Apart from the option of buying Backing our Youth merchandise, Vanderfield customers contribute to the development of youth resilience in their area through their dealership’s donation of a percentage of agricultural equipment sales. The funds are collected and managed by the Artesian Foundation, who then distributes them to SU QLD chaplains through a grants process.
Vanderfield’s Managing Director, Bruce Vandersee, is very satisfied with the outcome. ‘With the support of our customers, we have reached our goal of raising $50,000 in the first half of this year. Although our branches back their local communities in a variety of ways, we are especially pleased and excited to be involved in supporting the children of today become adults who have a great outlook on life and contribute valuably right where they are’.
Chaplains can apply for a grant of up to $2,000 to fund a range of projects. Tony Dodge, who works in schools in central Queensland, was able to organise life skills events in two different towns. ‘Supported by the principals and in partnership with our local Police, children from years Prep to 6 were divided into three groups by age and learned how to support one another and look at things differently’. And Ross Grierson bought equipment to improve the food served at the Breakfast Club in Emerald State High School. ‘Toasted ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches are providing students with a hearty breakfast meal before the school day begins on Thursdays, historically a low attendance day. Records are being kept by the school and already they are noticing an improvement in attendance’.