Happy recipients: Representatives from the five charities who received grants from United Way in Blenheim – clockwise: Jane Laing, John Brooks, Leigh Hawthorne, Lynn Weir, Helen North, Yvonne Dasler, and senior constable Russ Smith.
Five Marlborough charities received grants totalling $15,000 from the United Way charitable organisation in a ceremony in Blenheim at the end of July.
The five charities which received grants were Age Concern, Birthright, Crossroads charitable trust, Marlborough Youth trust, and Victim Support.
United Way lead volunteer evaluator Brian Dawson said the groups represented were the "heart and soul" of the Marlborough community, volunteers who looked after the vulnerable in our society.
United Way chief executive Don Oliver said his organisation was a non-religious, non-political organisation set up 125 years ago in the United States, and operated in 41 countries around the world.
It aimed to help the small to medium-sized charities working in welfare. There was no United Way organisation here, so the funding comes from the Tindall Foundation, set up by Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall and his wife Margaret.
"It's a united way for individuals to support charity . . . my little bit and your little bit might not be much on their own, but together with thousands of others, it's a lot."
The groups receiving the grants said they had all found the past year hard, with funding decreasing, but the demand for their services increasing.
They were grateful for the grant from United Way, saying it would help a lot.
Birthright's Lynn Weir said an achievement for her organisation was finding houses and chattels for 12 families moving to Blenheim after the earthquakes in Christchurch - all in one weekend.
Crossroads' Yvonne Dasler said her organisation had supplied 60 loaves of bread for families to use for school lunches yesterday.
Mr Oliver said he had spent his working life in charitable and not-for-profit organisations and the past three years were the hardest he had known.
"The motivating factor is that we're doing this work for other people, not for ourselves."