In the cooler months our focus naturally turns to the many indoor adventures we can have in Melbourne. While exploring the city’s museums and galleries, perusing cosy knits in independent shops and sipping on steaming hot chocolates in cute cafes, there are also ways to give back to those who really need a helping hand. Find out how you can support a social cause and community while exploring our city.
Taste the Difference
Enjoy a delicious meal made by refugees who are forging their own micro-businesses and at the same time, support AMES Australia’s People in Need Fund. Taste the Difference will feature Sri Lankan, Persian and Syrian delights and you can enjoy music from Fadil Suna, who entertains with folk and pop jazz music from Kurdistan. On Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 June, tickets $50.
Dine at Kinfolk
Kinfolk Cafe serves amazing seasonal food that tastes even better when you realise all the profits go to charity. Expect sustainable, healthy dishes like avo smash with green peas, mint and feta, or organic pork belly baguette with kimchi and spinach. If you’re going to splash out on brunch, may as well make it count!
Walk to the G
You don’t need to be a footy fan to experience this walk as part of the Big Freeze at the G. Starting at Fed Square and heading to the MCG, you’ll warm up quickly as you join thousands of others donning their woolies to raise awareness of Motor Neurone Disease and funds for FightMND. Stay for the Collingwood v Melbourne game afterwards.
Good 2 Go
Hosier Lane cafe Good 2 Go helps brighten the lives of youth experiencing homelessness or poverty. They mentor kids in hospitality and offer a pay-it-forward scheme so you can shout someone a coffee or meal. Grab a coffee and help support this vital social enterprise.
If you want to support ethically produced milk and eggs you can’t go past The Eggporium. Based at the Queen Victoria Market, the shop stocks a huge variety of free-range eggs as well as delicious Gippsland Jersey milk. A portion of all milk profits go back to the Gippsland community to ensure a fair price for farmers.
Right next to City Library, Dukes Coffee Roasters is well known for its primo specialty coffee, much of it organic. What many don’t know is that its beans are lovingly toasted in the most energy efficient coffee roaster around. It’s all part of Dukes’ focus on sustainability and reducing waste.
Social enterprise cafe Streat trains youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to give them a fresh start in life. With three outlets across Melbourne – including a new one at RMIT – it’s so easy to give back. Grab a coffee and lunch and know that your spend is doing good.
House of Cards
Tucked into a laneway behind Melbourne University’s Engineering faculty, House of Cards Espresso wears its heart on its sleeve. With every order you get a playing card, which you can then slide into the ‘cause box’ to help make a difference. They also have a second cafe at Boyd Community Hub in Southbank.
The Soup Place
Nestled in one of Melbourne’s most photogenic laneways, Centre Place, The Soup Place is a diminutive space centered around numerous big black pots of hearty soup. Next time you pick up that steaming bowl or minestrone or potato and leak soup, spend just a few dollars more and buy a ‘pay-it-forward’ meal for someone in need.
Women for Women in Africa is a volunteer-run charity that helps children and families living in Nairobi’s giant Kibera slum. To help raise funds for their essential work, simply order an African beer or cider at Polépolé Bar & Kitchen. Profits from these sales go direct to the charity to help with education, training and nutrition.
Artists often do it tough, and not-for-profit art spaces can really help give them a leg up. In the Nicholas Building, CAVES runs several curated shows a year as well as off-site exhibitions. Magnet Galleries Melbourne Inc focuses on photography and long-running Sticky Institute is all about zines, with exhibitions, workshops, talks and DIY gear.
You can get everything for your next ride – from parts to accessories and even clothes – at Good Cycles. Feel real good about stopping by for a tune up, because 100% of their profits go towards supporting local community programs.