Make a Difference PMQ is a not for profit charity organisation based in Port Macquarie. Driven by values of love, respect, hope and compassion our mission is to support disadvantaged and marginalised people living in our Mid North Coast community.
Make a Difference PMQ provide emergency assistance in times of need and we connect with social services to restore dignity, pride and hope in the most vulnerable members of our community. In this we aim to be locals supporting locals.
— Our Vision
Each year Make a Difference PMQ set fundraising goals that include maintenance of our MAD Van. This van is used to achieve our mission and operates not only as a mode of transport but as a food and coffee van.
Funds raised from our major events and sale of coffee from our van are directed to our fundraising goals.
In 2020 our mobile food van assisted in delivering a food service to our friends living rough on the streets of Port Macquarie and early in the year we assisted with bushfire relief in Willawarrin.
In 2021 our goal is to focus on the coffee machine fit out and maintenance of the van whilst maintaining our commitment to those living rough and providing additional emergency flood assistance where needed.
In 2022 we will turn our attention to those suffering from issues relating to domestic violence in our community whilst maintaining our commitment to those living rough and providing additional emergency assistance if needed.
— Our Journey
Make a Difference PMQ was founded in 2016. Our primary focus was to deliver services in our local area to people who were vulnerable and experiencing hardship. We quickly recruited a committee of hard working, like minded and passionate people who shared the same values.
Our first project was to raise $110,000 in 12 months to procure a mobile Orange Sky Laundry Van to the MNC of NSW. After several fund raisers, the support of local businesses and generous people in our community our hard working committee secured these funds in nine months and had the van operational within our 12 month target with the van affectionately known as Maddy. To date Maddy has done over 1000 washes and continues to provide a service between Taree, Port Macquarie and Kempsey.
We soon learnt very quickly that the OSL van would be complemented by a mobile food van. So Project Two started. Our aim was to fit out the van with a coffee machine to be able to provide this service on shift but also to use commercially to create revenue and help support the cost to operate the service. In 2019, we raised $60,000 with great assistance from partners FRRR and we were to purchase the van from John Oxley Motors and fit it out. With the help of the crew from ARB, Peak Coffee and Les the van started to take shape. By 2020 the van was complete with a coffee machine and BBQ set up. The van has been used to provide a free food service at Short Street Port Macquarie and we utilised the van extensively in support of community members affected by the 2019 Bushfires and the March floods.
We have learnt quickly that the van is quite tight on space and that we need to purchase a food trailer to make the service efficient and user friendly and hence the inception of Project Three. The past 18 months have been very trying times with the bush fires, floods and the pandemic. It slowed us down momentarily. In June, 2021 we launched our inaugural Ride the Wave Festival. The funds from this, the local NSW Clubs Grants program and grant support from the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation has enabled us to place an order for a M.A.D Mobile food trailer. Delivery is scheduled for February 2022, we hope to have it operational in March 2022. The food trailer will be utilised on shift, for natural disaster recovery, markets, community and sport events.
Having acquired these useful assets for the community, the need for proper storage has become imminent. Hence Project Four – storage shed. Port Macquarie Anglican Church has been very accommodating since Maddy (Orange Sky Laundry Van) came along and then the M.A.D Van in providing a home for these vehicles in their car park on Church grounds in the Port Macquarie CBD. Whilst the central location has meant easy access for volunteers this was never to be a long term solution. Successful grant funding from FRRR Suncorp and Commonwealth Bank has provided M.A.D with the financial ability to install a storage shed for the vehicles, food trailer and associated equipment. The next step is to find some land on which to build!