Jane and Rob were researching how they could start their own charity to honour their son Joseph and keep his memory alive. They had already held a successful fundraising event called Jog for Joey. The event was planned by one of Joseph’s friends who ran 50 marathons in 50 days to fundraise for The Compassionate Friends Victoria (TCFV), a charity that provides grief support and counselling to bereaved family and friends.
Picture above: Joseph
Jane recalls that just weeks after Joseph’s passing, that TCFV provided the support they needed.
“It was a relief to be with people that understood how we felt and the terrible journey we were on, they didn’t try to fix us or give advice but listened to our story. We attend support groups at TCFV and also throughout the year attend many of the social events. We’ve made friends with other bereaved parents.”
Joseph loved people and his friends were extremely important to him. Joseph was 6 foot 4” with reddish hair and a big handshake that people still talk about. He was ‘sports mad’ playing cricket and football.
At the time of his passing, Jane said that Joseph was doing work experience at a special development school and the children loved him. “Staff at the school would not ring the bell at lunch time as the students were having so much fun with Joseph. We donated the money from Joseph’s bank account to the school to build a shed for outdoor sporting equipment.”
“The football club Joseph played for and the development school both give out awards in Jospeh’s memory. It means so much to us that people remember and honour Joseph in these ways.”
After reading about the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Jane decided to find out if establishing a charitable fund account with the Foundation could be an option that would work for them.
“After the success of Jog for Joey, we were on the verge of starting a new charity in Joseph’s memory, then unfortunately COVID-19 hit, and the time has never been right. We talked to friends at The Compassionate Friends who had established a charitable fund to learn more about their experience with the Foundation and we decided it would be a perfect fit.”
Jane says that now they donate to Joseph’s memorial charitable fund account at special times of the year such as at Christmas and on Joseph’s birthday.
“We also hope to do small fundraising events in his memory from time to time, always keeping things true to Joseph’s values: he was honest and selfless, he loved to celebrate other people’s achievements, he was a team player, he collected friends everywhere he went, having a smile and a handshake for everyone. He never forgot a face.”
An important feature of charitable funds is that they continue in perpetuity. “When Rob and I are no longer here our other two children will become the Foundation’s contact.
Jane says after establishing Joseph’s Memorial Fund she wanted to let all their family and friends know using her social media networks.
“I wanted to inform family and friends about our plans as many asked if we were still going to start a new charity. The post had so many reactions and positive comments - many people even donated which we were not expecting at all. It was so heart-warming, and we had many a tear reading all the lovely comments.
“Joseph, you are loved as much today as always, missing you is a daily heartbreak, you will always be an important part of our lives and now your memory will live on forever.”
Learn more about The Compassionate Friends and support services.
If you would like to talk to our Development Team about charitable fund accounts, please contact Rikki Andrews, General Manager Fund Development on 03 9633 0033 or via email.