What Is The Elf Squad?
Elf Squad is a not-for-profit community project that unites business owners in Geelong, to help local families in need at Christmas.
Elf Squad is a 100% voluntary operation, organised by a core group of leaders and members of local business groups including CoClub CoWorking Collective, Business in Heels Geelong, Entrepreneurs Geelong, Technology Geelong, Creative Geelong, Small Business Smart Business, Eastern Geelong Business Network, Geelong Small Business Network, Arro HQ CoWorking Community, and Runway Geelong.
Elf Squad was founded in 2017 by Geelong entrepreneur Stephanie Beitzel, as a project of her business CoClub CoWorking Collective. Stephanie Beitzel is also known to many as CEO of Technology Geelong. (Yes, like so many of us, Stephanie wears a few hats... and one of them is an Elf Hat!)
What Does Elf Squad Do, And How?
Here's how Elf Squad works, and what Elf Squad does:
- Elf Squad works with the City of Greater Geelong, Geelong English Language Centre, GROW, and local schools, charities and grass roots organisations, to identify families in need in Greater Geelong. Details are collected and added to our 'Elfing Hand List'. In 2017, we're particularly focusing on three groups: (1) new arrivals to the region, especially asylum-seeker families; (2) Families known to be 'digitally-excluded', which means little or no internet access; and (3) Families where the main bread-winner is actively seeking work or re-training;
- Elf Squad then unites the region's small business communities to lead voluntary programmes and activity to generate donations of new toys, regional gourmet treats, technology and internet for families on the 'Elfing Hand List';
- On December 15 & 16, Elf Squad volunteers and supporters gather in a big warehouse at Elf Squad HQ, at Federal Mills Park, in North Geelong, for 'The BIG 'Elf Squad Festive Wrap 'n' Sack Fest'. We hand-make and write cards for all the families on the 'Elfing Hand List', we hand-print huge rolls of brown paper for the presents, we hand-decorate big brown hessian Elf Squad Sacks for the toys, and we hand-wrap 'n' sack hundreds of toys and treats ready to dispatch to families;
- In the week before Christmas, Elf Squad volunteers hand-deliver all of the Elf Squad Sacks to families around the region, with the help of partner agencies;
- In February, Elf Squad re-groups for 'The BIG Elf Squad Post-Festive Wrap Party' back at Federal Mills Park - to report and celebrate our Christmas results, and to thank our volunteers and supporters for their generosity and hard work, and to recruit our 2018 Elf Squad Leaders;
- On 25 July each year, we run the 'Elf Squad In July Christmas Fund-Raiser', to announce and kick-start the year's 'Elf Squad Goals', and recruit volunteers.
How Is Elf Squad Run?
Elf Squad is not yet a registered charity. We are a voluntary project, facilitated by Stephanie Beitzel and her business CoClub Regional CoWorking Collective, which is the organiser of The Big Geelong CoWorking Day, and Elf Squad. Stephanie Beitzel is also CEO of Technology Geelong (formerly ICT Geelong Ltd), another supporter of Elf Squad.
Since Elf Squad's activity mainly focuses on donation of time and goods, we have not prioritised setting up a separate not-for-profit entity. However, as supporter interest is now growing, and we are receiving regular enquiries from people and organisations wanting to sponsor and donate cash, our team is receiving advice on options for registration. Until this is in place, any sponsorship and event proceeds are being directed to partner charities to facilitate the purchase of services for recipients, such as low-cost internet services. In the meantime, operational overheads are being covered and accounted for by Stephanie Beitzel and her business CoClub CoWorking Collective.
For details, please contact us.