The 100% charity
On Monday I went to ‘Fantastic Furniture’ and purchased a single bed, tallboy, bedside table, mattress and dining room setting. I called into ‘Spotlight’ and picked up two sheet sets, two pillows, two pillow cases, pillow protectors, doona, doona cover and mattress protector. The two Pete’s delivered the furniture in our trailer to a single mother of two near Westmead and assembled the furniture for her. Pete had the little girl with a tube up her nose (and not much hair) running round helping him assemble stuff. Now the 7 year old girl has her own bed to sleep in as she was sharing with her sister and we hope the risk of infection will be minimised while she goes through her chemo treatment over the next 12 months. We also provided $350 in Woolworth’s vouchers as they basically had no food. We knew of this single mother’s plight through a social worker request. The mother called that afternoon to thank me.
10 of the families that we helped were asking for help through their social workers to pay for their child’s funeral. We’re proud to say that no other charity does what we do for families, or hospitals. We are different to most other children’s charities, not too many others have executive directors that go shopping for furniture and bed linen for a little girl who has at best 12 months of chemo ahead of her.
Our cancer foundation funds assist doctors, nurses, families and support groups involved in caring for only the youngest of children suffering with a brain tumor, leukemia and all other childhood cancers, from new born babies to young teenagers. The money we raise and the donations we receive, are allocated by our founding committee, benefiting, both public hospitals with children’s oncology units and families who find themselves placed in financial difficulties, due to their child being treated for cancer.
As a cancer foundation we have been in contact with all children’s hospitals throughout Australia, with an offer of assistance. To date we have provided funding to eight hospitals in four States and The Northern Territory and family assistance (through the social workers) in nine children’s hospitals: Sydney Children’s, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, John Hunter Newcastle, Royal Brisbane, Monash Children’s in Victoria, Mater Children’s Brisbane, Canberra, Women’s & Children’s Adelaide and Princess Margaret Perth.
Other non-profit organisations such as ‘The Children’s Cancer Institute’ and ‘The Malcolm Sargeant Cancer Fund for Children’ in NSW (now trading as RedKite) and Melbourne University have also received funding, mainly to assist families with funeral costs. Canteen, Redkite, Starlight, Camp Quality & Make A Wish Foundation all do great work but we are different and independant from all others.
Our Funding Committee receives requests from hospitals for specific needs. After direct consultation with the doctors or social workers concerned, these requests are dealt with on a priority basis. It may be that the hospital requires wages, for doctors to be trained in the special care needed for paediatric oncology, or for nursing staff, social workers and other personnel. It may also be for, computer equipment, or possibly an additional pharmacist for the oncology ward. Our funds may be used for something as simple as recliner chairs to make the kids more comfortable, or blood pressure monitors when they receive treatment, as in The Mater Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.
Laptop computers and Apple iPads have been given as we feel kids games are very important these iPads allow the kids to have boys games and girls games and to be able to create slide shows of family photos, with the inbuilt camera take pictures of family and hospital staff and using the ‘Garage Band’ program record their own music.