Coles Store Manager David and Salvation Army Major Brendan Nottle
Coles Store Manager David and Salvation Army Major Brendan Nottle

Gympie locals raise $800 in record breaking appeal

Demonstrating the immense generosity of Australians in times of crisis, Gympie customers have raised more than $800 as part of Coles Group’s record-breaking fundraising appeal to help feed vulnerable Australians and families affected by childhood cancer.

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Locals in Gympie are being praised for their fundraising efforts, digging deep to donate to the vital cause despite the financial challenges many Queenslanders are facing due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

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The impressive fundraising efforts by the local community have contributed to a record-breaking $3.2 million raised across the nation in just four weeks, which helped to support food rescue organisation, SecondBite and national children’s cancer charity, Redkite – more than 2.6 times the funds raised in the 2019 Christmas campaign.

Demonstrating the immense generosity of Australians in times of crisis, Gympie customers have raised more than $800 as part of Coles Group’s record-breaking fundraising appeal to help feed vulnerable Australians and families affected by childhood cancer.

More than half the funds raised were from Coles supermarket customers who purchased a $2 donation card at the checkout, with further record-breaking donations from Coles Express customers, providing much-needed support for SecondBite and Redkite, both of which faced increased demand for their services during the holiday season due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Research released by SecondBite in November showed more than three-quarters of its food charities expected Christmas would be more difficult for the people they support in the community, with 72 per cent of agencies also reporting an increase in demand for food relief since COVID-19 began.

Redkite revealed in December 2020 that nearly a

Suzanne Robertson and Collen Martin from Coles Gympie.
Suzanne Robertson and Collen Martin from Coles Gympie.

quarter of families they surveyed who have a child diagnosed with cancer, feared they couldn’t afford basics like food, with nearly a third of respondents also saying they didn’t think they could continue to provide for their families.

Coles State General Manager, Jerry Farrell, said the generosity of Queensland shoppers was crucial for families and individuals experiencing hardship, and was particularly important during the Christmas period.

“While 2020 was a challenging year for everyone, it was great to see such incredible generosity from Queenslanders to provide support for families and individuals doing it tough. Gympie locals in particular should be extremely proud of their efforts,” Mr Farrell said.

“It is amazing to see Gympie locals pull together and donate to Australian charities SecondBite and Redkite.”

SecondBite CEO Jim Mullan said that the $1.57 million raised for SecondBite by Coles in the lead up to Christmas will help provide the equivalent of 7.8 million meals to people in need.

“2020 was an incredibly difficult year for families across the country and SecondBite could not have responded in the way we have without the support of the entire Coles team. 2021 will come with a range of legacy challenges from COVID-19 and the bushfires and their collective impact on both the economy and communities across the country,” he said.

“The funds raised by the Coles team will allow us to deliver greater positive impact through the increased distribution of fresh and nutritious food to individuals, families and communities in need throughout Australia.”

Coles Store Manager David and Salvation Army Major Brendan Nottle
Coles Store Manager David and Salvation Army Major Brendan Nottle

Redkite CEO Monique Keighery said the funds of almost $1.5 million raised for Redkite, in addition to $200,000 in gift cards donated by Coles Group, will go a long way to easing the pressure on families impacted by childhood cancer.

“Across Australia, demand for our counselling and support services went up by a massive 30 per cent as families grappled with the daunting task of keeping their immunocompromised child safe during the pandemic, along with the daily struggle of paying for groceries, household bills and hospital trips,” she said.

“For families who have a child with cancer, 2020 was a devastating year but thanks to the incredibly generous support of Coles customers, Redkite will be able to stay on the frontlines to deliver the practical, emotional and financial support these families so desperately need.”

Coles has donated enough surplus fresh food to SecondBite to provide the equivalent of 128 million meals to disadvantaged Australians since 2011 and raised nearly $40 million in eight years for Redkite to provide essential support to children and young people with cancer.

Gympie Times

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