IMPACT Newsletter June 2021

Small actions. Big impact.

At Australian Childhood Foundation, we are fortunate enough to work alongside generous partners who are dedicated to supporting the children, young people and families we work with.

We believe that small actions can have a huge impact, and our partner, i=Change, certainly agrees.

We sat down with the CEO of i=Change, Jeremy Meltzer, to talk about our partnership, making a difference and the importance of positive and loving relationships in childhood.

Tell me a little bit about i=Change?
i=Change was developed out of a need to make giving back easy and simple for retailers. There is definitely a focus on empowering women, girls and children, which is a personal passion of mine. I thought what if we could create a new mechanism to raise funds for some extraordinary projects, in a way that was sustainable and ongoing.

How does i=Change work?

It’s very simple. The brand or retailer commits to a donation with every sale. Most brands have a dollar allocated per sale and the customer gets to choose which charity it goes to. It clear, simple, announced, and customer chooses. Customers and retailers can also track the impact to see real time how much has been donated and where it’s going.

What was your journey to creating i=Change?

When I was living in Cuba in Havana in my early twenties, almost every woman I met and spoke to had a story of violence. And those were very galvanizing moments as a young person. I had no idea what to do about it and definitely didn’t know how to help.

I was quite angry about it and thought a lot about how it’s possible that women think this kind of treatment was normal and ok. It is a big issue but it’s a complex issue, so I started meeting with NGOs to learn about how I could contribute to making an impact and help create social change.

The one common factor was they all needed more funds to continue to do their work on the ground.

It then became more of a question around how do we bring people together to support all of the worthy causes that are creating social change every day.

The exciting thing now is it’s being driven by consumers who want to shop with specific brands but are also want to be socially conscious. I am really proud of what we do.

Tell me about your partnership with Australian Childhood Foundation?

We had heard about the great work that The Foundation does and we wanted to make sure that there was a ring of steel around children. Of course, that’s not always possible, but for the children who are unfortunate enough to have experienced some form of abuse, we wanted to help ensure they have access to services that support their recovery.

One thing I’ve learnt when speaking to women, girls and children is that trauma stays with them forever. It often impacts all areas of their lives – how they feel about themselves, what they consider to be ok treatment, how they feel about relationships and even what their capacity to be in relationships and trust people is.

What do you think motivates retailers to get onboard with i=Change?

What we’re learning is that retailers are just like everyday people. They care, they want to make an impact and they want their customers to see that they are actively contributing to a greater good. There just hasn’t ever been a simple solution for them to do so.

COVID-19 has definitely accelerated this movement. I think Australian consumers are realising now, more than ever, that we are globally interconnected. There is no difference between them and us, and ultimately big or small, we can all make an impact.

So it is the consumers demanding that brands share that perspective, because, bottom line, it is actually really good for business.

What is your fondest memory of your childhood?

We used to go to Fiji as a family and a lot of time I would go for runs with my Dad. It was nice spending that one on one time together. I can acknowledge now that I was very fortunate growing up, but these moments showed me how small actions can have a big impact. I was fortunate to have parents and love and strength around me – all children should have those things.

I you would like to find out more about i=Change, you can visit their website here.

Brands that support Australian Childhood Foundation through i=Change include:

  • DnC Lifestyle
  • Sodashi
  • Krystle Knight Jewellery
  • Sea Level Australia
  • By Charlotte
  • Incy Interiors
  • Oliver Thomas Children’s Boutique
  • Matchbox
  • The Forme
  • Alf the Label AU
  • Exyra
  • Marcy Grace

The critical impact of our work is only achieved through the continued support of our community and generous strategic partners.  

We design partnership programs to be creative, impactful, engaging and rewarding. If your business or organisation would like to come on board, please get in contact at partnerships@childhood.org.au   

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Children left behind by family violence