It was a happy reunion for the seven Friends of Mithra Committee members together in Melbourne last Sunday for the Annual General Meeting.

Ben McDonald, Nick Lux and Danielle Sellick are resident in Melbourne, Pat Bollen flew in from Sydney, Shane O’Brien flew in from Adelaide and Helen Mahoney and I arrived from Brisbane. Helen’s husband Peter, once again kindly offered his skills as our minutes secretary for the day.

Nick Lux kindly provided the meeting room at his law firm, Wotton Kearney, at 600 Burke Street, and the meeting commenced at 10:45am with the group praying the Saint Ignatius’ Prayer for Generosity. As usual the agenda was packed full. We reviewed and approved the Minutes from the 2018 AGM, as well as the Auditor’s Report and the Financial Statement from 2018.

One of the actions from last year’s meeting was the task to refine and clarify both the Vision and Mission of Friends of Mithra. These were finalised and approved in August. At this AGM both Statements were clearly featured at the top of the agenda page.

We spent time reviewing all of our Fundraising initiatives in 2018. These and the relevant statistics and analysis were provided in a very comprehensive “Snapshot” by Pat Bollen who walked us through the document. He also offered recommendations for 2019. Acknowledgement was made of, and appreciation expressed for, all those who continue to generously support the children of MITHRA with donations, time and hard work.

Then we moved onto “Fundraising Plans for 2019”. The key areas outlined and discussed were: Champion Events, Challenge Events, Play For Purpose Raffles, Regular Donors, EOFY & Christmas Appeals, Workplace Giving, and the Visiting Schools partnerships.

Our biggest challenge is to spread the word about the essential services provided by the Sisters and staff at MITHRA for the most neglected children in India – children with disabilities from the poorest areas (slums) of Chennai.

Without MITHRA, these children would be totally neglected. But Sr Mary Theodore’s vision was that every child deserves a better life, and she encouraged parents from the slums to bring these children to MITHRA for education and therapy, as well as vocational & life skills programs.

All Committee members left the meeting excited and challenged by the year ahead, but knowing in our hearts that nothing can be achieved without the generosity and goodness of friends and family in our respective States. We are always looking to broaden our circle of “Friends”. If you’ve read this, and have any ideas and suggestions for fundraising, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of the Committee members.

Let’s see what 2019 brings!

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