The FRRR BACK TO SCHOOL GIFT VOUCHER PROGRAM, is coordinated nationally by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal.   Border Trust provides the local mechanism for the program, which offers valuable assistance for local families in need by distributing $50 Target Gift Vouchers. 

This small gift aims to help students  start the school year happy, confident and with the resources they need. 

To feel they fit-in and not stand-out.

This year, we will be focusing on supporting even more students through the Challenge component of the program.   FRRR has offered our region $12,500 matched contribution to funds raised locally, thereby extending the number of $50 vouchers we can provide to students-in-need.  All funds raised throughout the Challenge will contribute to our ability to help more students.  That’s just got to be a wonderful incentive.


We raised $12,500 which will now be matched by FRRR.

We launched our Challenge to the community late August with morning tea at the Retro Lane Café.

We had a fabulous turnout of school students and staff, donors, Board members, family & friends.

Thank you to Jarrod from Wodonga Middle Year’s & Desna from Scots School Albury who both spoke so beautifully and to Brad Bohun who spoke on behalf of the Findex Community Fund: such generous donors last year.

If you want to get involved, grab a collection tin, make a donation or create your own Crowd Raiser, contact us on or click on the link below for all of the giving options.  We’ve got this!


All the Details: 2019 Back to School Challenge BorderTrust BacktoSchool_A4




The numbers are in & we are so happy to say that 949 students (from 76 schools) will be receiving a $50 Target voucher within the next few days.  This is nothing short of AMAZING.  Thank you so much to FRRR for coordinating this program and to all of their valuable national sponsors who make it happen.

And to our local donors who add to our capacity to support local students – thank you.  You really have made a difference:  Crowe Horwath through the Findex Community Fund,  The 2017 Year 12’s at Scots School Albury for raising $1759 at their trivia nightlong term donors to the program Darrin & Julie Eddy, the Institute Chartered Accountants annual Charity Golf Day, the wonderful team at Jayco Albury Wodonga, the no less wonderful team at Adroit Insurance Group, plus all of the other local families and individuals who contribute regularly.  You know who you are!

Some of our lovely donors, L-R The teams from Adroit Insurance Group, Jayco Albury Wodonga and Border Trust’s Michael Salter with Donor Julie Eddy.   More

Bottom: Presentation of vouchers to The Indie School with Ryan Muntz, Michael Houlihan (Border Trust), David Pickett (Indie School), Glenys Atkins (Border Trust), Brad Bohun (Program donor through Crowe Horwath & the Findex Community Fund) and Rod Wangman (Indie School)







The words of gratitude are starting to come in from schools on behalf of their students:

“I would like to confirm that we have received 5 vouchers from Border Trust. On behalf of our families and community I would like to thank you for your support. In particular I would like to thank you for the trust you place in us to ensure the vouchers find the families who most need them. It allows us to pass on your support in a discreet manner which is something the families are grateful for (in addition to the voucher itself).”  Principal

“Thank you once again for your generous contribution to our school. Each year we eagerly await the vouchers to support students with the requirements to enable them to be successful at school”.  Principal

“We thank Border Trust & FRRR for their generosity in helping us to support our students and families in need of a little support for a variety of reasons.  My experience of distributing these vouchers last year highlighted that what seems like such a small act at a time of need is in fact something that can make such a huge difference”.

“One mother (who has recently moved to here – due to domestic violence) cried and cried. They did not have the basics eg lunchbox, back pack etc as it was all left behind. She was really appreciative. The student came and showed me his new items and was so excited and was just like the other students. Another family has several children – they were really appreciative as they could go and buy them new underwear and socks. The students had outgrown the ones they had. All families were thrilled and the vouchers have made such a difference in a big way – confidence, feeling that they belong and socially. It has also taken the pressure off some families to get items that they had been putting of due to a lack of finances”.  Welfare Officer

“One young person supported this year has only recently been forced out of home. Whilst the school has been able to provide her with uniforms and basic stationery needs, the voucher will be used to purchase a backpack and some runners to help her participate in PE and sports activities. This helps her to feel less isolated within her cohort due to her lack of adequate means to provide for basic needs. She was delighted when given the voucher today”. 

“Our families have said that they would email through their thoughts on their cards. They were overwhelmed with thanks and some were brought to tears so it really was a beautiful response to your gift. It’s amazing how it works as for some of them the timing was just perfect and made a lovely positive start to their day. One lady said it was such a blessing as her son had just broken his school bag and worn through his shoes at the same time, so she was thrilled”

December 2017:  WOW!  What an incredible response we had to our Challenge target for the 2018 Back to School Program.  Some donors prefer to stay anonymous (you know who you are & we thank you!), but others are out there to set the challenge for other community minded souls who know how important it is for students to fit-in & not stand-out.

Our thanks to The 2017 Year 12’s at Scots School Albury for raising $1759 at their recent trivia night, long term donors to the program Darrin & Julie Eddy, the Institute Chartered Accountants annual Charity Golf Day, the wonderful team at Jayco Albury Wodonga and the no less wonderful team at Adroit Insurance Group.

Back to School Boost

Crowe Horwath, through the Findex Community Fund, have announced a $10,000 contribution to the 2018 Back to School Program.  This is an extraordinarily generous gesture which will enable many more local students to receive a $50 voucher to help meet the costs of resources & uniforms.

Brad Bohun, Principal Partner at Crowe Horwath shares what it means to support such a valuable local program:

“Locally our partner group has a keen focus on being a contributing corporate citizen within Albury Wodonga and its surrounding communities. The Back to School program has significant appeal to Crowe Horwath due to the immediate benefits the program provides the recipients and their families in allowing children start the school year with the resources they need. We believe all children should be provided the opportunity to learn, unlocking their potential regardless of geography or circumstance. Personally, as a parent of three young children, I am just so proud of the reach and impact a funded back to school program will have locally”.

On behalf of our local families & young students, we thank you.

Findex Community Fund’s Vision is to create equal access to opportunity for people isolated by location or circumstance, through innovative programs which are regionally relevant, nationally impactful and globally scalable.



Funds raised locally between now and 24.11.17 will help us meet our CHALLENGE target and your $50 donation will help not 1 but 2 students!

Every dollar raised will help
local families meet the costs of a new school year.
Together, we can help students-in-need to feel they fit-in, not stand-out.


The FRRR BACK TO SCHOOL GIFT VOUCHER PROGRAM, supported by the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) offers valuable assistance for local families in need by offering access to $50 Target Gift Vouchers to help meet some of the costs in getting children back to school. It is a national program which has been operating since 2005.

Every year Border Trust raises funds and provides the distribution mechanism for this program. We are proud of this achievement – distributing $305,850 in $50 vouchers since the commencement of the program in 2005.

In 2017, 568 x $50 Target Gift Vouchers valued at $28,400 were distributed
across 66 Schools.

BTS Logo Give NowYou can Donate to support the Back to School Program

Your donation to the Back to School Program will mean we have a greater capacity to help struggling families meet the costs of new clothing, equipment or school essentials. We urge locals to take this opportunity to help a young person connect with their peers, their school and their teachers.

Donate Here

Traditionally, FRRR seek to match funds raised by Border Trust to extend our ability to support students at the start of each new school year.

September 2016: – Thanks to the students & school community of The Scots School Albury for presenting the proceeds from their recent trivia night to support the 2017 FRRR Back to School Program. They raised a whopping $2200! Students caring for students – it doesn’t get much better than that. 


Border Trust’s Role in the Back to School Program

Regionally, Border Trust provides the distribution mechanism for this program. Each year, we register our interest with FRRR on behalf of families in need and in direct consultation with our regions 110 primary and high schools. School principals throughout the region are invited to register for the program and request vouchers for their most needy families.

The requests for vouchers consistently outstrip available funding and we work toward raising funds to support the ever increasing need.

The vouchers allocated to schools by Border Trust are distributed at the discretion of each school and are to assist families with the purchase of uniforms, books, footwear, stationary, toiletries or other school necessities.

Distribution of Vouchers

Border Trust is proud of its achievement of distributing $305,850 in $50 vouchers since the commencement of the program in 2005.

A full summary of all grants, including the Back to School Program distributions, can be found:


2017 Supporters of The Back To School Program

In addition to the FRRR contribution for this program, local generosity enabled us to meet more of the needs of families at the beginning of the 2017 school year.

Thank you to our local 2017 donors: –

  • The Scots School Albury Student Rep Council
  • Adroit Insurance Group
  • Institute Chartered Accountants
  • The Scanlon Foundation
  • Various Private Donors.


DONORS: Darren & Julie Eddy
Lots of people have their hands out and there are a lot of worthy causes, but the thing that stood out with the Back To School Program was that it was in our region and it affected our kids.  … We have our own children, we know how hard it is for families and we wanted to give everyone the best chance because if they’ve got the right stuff they’ve got confidence.  If you’re in a position, $50 is not a lot to make a big difference to someone else.”

Lessons in the Art of Giving”Border Mail story


Beneficial relationship: Voucher donors Darren and Julie Eddy and the principal of Albury's Aspect school Jo Gillespie. Photo: Border Mail – 11May2016

Beneficial relationship: Voucher donors Darren and Julie Eddy and the principal of Albury’s Aspect school Jo Gillespie. Photo: Border Mail – 11May2016


QBE FoundationWe gratefully acknowledge QBE Foundation for their support in providing a $10,000 grant to the Border Trust for the Back to School Program in 2014.


 Sharing The Stories

Can a $50 voucher really make a difference? We receive many heartfelt stories from our schools on how a “gift from strangers” can really make a difference..

Recently a family arrived in our school from a war torn country.. …. . When I gave them a $50.00 voucher to purchase new shoes for the child and explained that good people in our community donate the money to buy the vouchers to help those people who need a hand occasionally, the father cried.  The father still thanks me for his son’s school shoes and his son, values them as his most precious possession. It is the only new thing his son had ever had.”

This assistance provides students with a feeling of self worth when they have a new shirt, hat or shoes to wear to school. It really makes a difference.”

One of our families parents is seriously ill and this makes things at home difficult for all, budgeting in the family home needs to be tight. It is wonderful to be able to assist this family in this way”.
“It is amazing what a difference a new pair of school shoes or sneakers makes to a child and how they walk just that little bit taller when they feel that they are equal to their peers and look the same. Many thanks to all that make this possible- we are so very grateful!”

This program provides needy families with a little boost to help their child to have some basic essentials for school such as school shoes, underwear etc. This enables children to feel accepted and connected. Having new socks, runners or shorts without holes helps build self- esteem and provides some relief for families doing it tough.”

When I give families a voucher from Border Trust on their first day at school they are so very grateful to be able to buy shoes, socks and underwear for their children so that they aren’t different from the other children.”

The vouchers have supported children to go on school excursions with appropriate clothing and footwear, to take swimming lessons with swimming costumes and a towel and to have lunchboxes, drink bottles and backpacks and most importantly to have school shoes and sports shoes that fit when their feet are growing quickly and their parents have difficulty finding money for food much less a new pair of school shoes.”

Some parents feel that they are unable to stretch the monthly budget to accommodate new school uniforms for 2 or 3 kids in the beginning of the new school year. The parents who receive a card really appreciate the kindness of others when times are tough.”

“Actually the smile on the faces of the recipients, this tells a lot. …. the voucher helps them considerably.”