Issue 10
Monday, 07 December 2020
Charles Darwin University
E-news
The Kindness Shake team (from left standing): Ana Nunez, Ben Poveda-Alfonso, Ali Dhirani, Denis Mitrov, Francesca Pellizzari, Manfred Mletsin, Kylie Tran, Trevor Pinto. (Front): Nilesh Dilushan, Tatenda Mapuranga, Kyle Chuong
The Kindness Shake team (from left standing): Ana Nunez, Ben Poveda-Alfonso, Ali Dhirani, Denis Mitrov, Francesca Pellizzari, Manfred Mletsin, Kylie Tran, Trevor Pinto. (Front): Nilesh Dilushan, Tatenda Mapuranga, Kyle Chuong

Kindness Shake in fine winning form

Leaders of the Kindness Shake free food initiative have been buoyed by public recognition for their outstanding support of vulnerable sectors of the community during the coronavirus outbreak.

Co-founder and Charles Darwin University Global’s International Support Officer Ben Poveda-Alfonso said what had started as a “little project” was under review regarding how else they might be able to contribute to the community.

“A lot has happened since our launch in April with a simple vision to provide a weekly free meal and a kind smile to individuals experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19,” he said.

“We continue to operate, serving between 50 and 100 meals a week, although we will take a break in December. 

“We are also thinking about other ways to support the community next year, of strategies that might ensure our long-term viability and about other amazing things that could happen.

“If you have listened to the community in recent months you will know that the hottest topics has been jobs. As a result, we established the Skill-up 2 Scale-up employability program, designed to help students improve their work-ready skills and enhance their employability prospects.

“Many of our volunteers have moved into part-time, full-time or casual employment because of the things they’ve done and the people they’ve met through the Kindness Shake.”

Mr Poveda-Alfonso said the community-led initiative had delivered more than 5000 meals, assisted more than 500 clients, partnered with more than 30 organisations, recruited more than 100 volunteers and raised more than $60,000 in grants and donations and it is now officially an incorporated association and a charity. 

Last month they won the NT Volunteer of the Year’s Community Volunteer Organisation/Team of the Year Award sponsored by the Community Bendigo Bank Alice Springs, and the Multicultural Council of the NT’s Community Project 2019-2020 hosted by the Administrator of the NT.

Marketing and Communications Team leader and CDU accounting student Manfred Mletsin also won the Chief Minister’s Industry and Export Award’s StudyNT International Student of the Year Award. He was one of five “Kindness” volunteers who were finalists in that category.

Mr Poveda-Alfonso said he had received notice that the Kindness Shake was in the running for another award at the inaugural Community Achievement Awards NT on 16 December.

“We are a finalist in the Woolworths Community Group of the Year category, and there’s also a chance we might win their People’s Choice Award,” he said.

To vote: W: https://awardsaustralia.app.do/https-www-facebook-com-ntcaaward?fbclid=IwAR1U_2nnl-PpZSLOejkUvGAVxCHBiHwW70zD7614mnDqoegZfmEMKrJ5NV8