"These annual corporate subscriptions are the life blood of the ABF," says Sharlene Vallance, Fundraiser for the ABF. "Throughout the history of the ABF, advertising agencies have assisted us by paying an annual amount. It's so important to ensure that the industry supports the ABF as these payments allow us to continue supporting the people who depend on it. With the current economic climate, we are inundated with requests for help."
"In return for the annual payment is the knowledge that as an affiliate with the advertising and media industry you have supported a cause that is close to home and resonates with each person who works in this ever-changing environment."
Several of the ABF's single cases have escalated to looking after full families as in some cases, the bread winners have been retrenched and are out of work. "It's not uncommon to find references, perhaps in your own agency, of how the ABF assisted someone in dire need. We are a vital support fund and we find ourselves paying for food, rent or other basic necessities that allow people to focus on looking for work rather than looking for food," says Vallance.
The ABF is 46 years old this year and now, more than ever, it has become vital to the advertising industry. "We are so grateful for continued support from some of the agencies as well as most of the media owners, but we feel there is urgency that we need to express to the remainder of the industry who is not aware of the vital work that the ABF does. We encourage all agencies and media owners to support the ABF as we send out our annual subscription invoices. We understand more than anyone how tough it is out there. Perhaps it is prudent to remember that charity begins at home," she says.
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The ABF is a non-profit organisation helping those in the advertising, media and allied industries that have fallen on hard times. Amongst its many contributions, the ABF, in conjunction with Lifeline have a dedicated 24/7 call centre line for people in the Advertising, Media and related industries who need counselling or treatment for stress, HIV/Aids and substance abuse problems. The ABF also provides study in the field to deserving, underprivileged students with institutions like the AAA.