Dec 15

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas and it’s not just Santa’s elves making toys!

Maroochy RSL is once again supporting the local community and this time, in addition to the $5,000 sponsorship donation from December 2020 and the donations received by RSL House staff, volunteers and visitors, the team has rallied the support of the Buderim Men’s Shed to deliver 50 beautifully crafted wooden toys for the Coast’s most vulnerable children.

Today’s delivery is just one of the ways Maroochy RSL has supported hundreds of charities over the past five years, donating more than $7 million to those supporting our communities when they need it most.

Maroochy RSL CEO Clare Paton said there had been an increased demand on community organisations in 2020 — particularly those offering grassroots support like the Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre which helps those who need basic essentials like food, clothing, education programs for children and at this time of year, Christmas presents to bring some joy.

“We don’t underestimate that this can be particularly challenging time for some families in our community and even more so with the impact of COVID-19, so it’s really important that we all rally behind the local organisations helping them,” Ms Paton said.

“The Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre has featured prominently as a recipient of our donations for many years as they have all the resources and programs in place to provide that extra support.

“The centre will host a Christmas feast onsite serving takeaways to keep within COVID-19 restrictions and are also preparing to deliver Christmas food hampers and gifts to 35 families which collectively include 48 children.

“Christmas is meant to be an exciting time for kids but for many, there is not much to look forward to. Thanks to the team at the Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre and the generosity of the Buderim Men’s Shed, there will be some extra smiles on the Sunshine Coast this Christmas and we’re delighted that we could make a contribution to this important cause.”

Buderim Men’s Shed President Barry Cheales said a team of eight men have been working in their very own Santa’s workshop creating 50 wooden toys for children who might otherwise go without.

“It takes hours to make the toys but there is a great sense of achievement in completing the final product as well as satisfaction in gifting them to the children in our local community,” Mr Cheales said.

“This is an example of the Sunshine Coast community coming together to help people in many different ways. Not only are the toymakers benefiting from working with their hands and creating something beautiful to give to the kids, they also get a chance to collaborate with other shedders — there’s real benefit in the sense of comradery and mateship they experience at the Shed.”

Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre CEO Michael Henning said his team are very grateful for the tremendous community support.

“We have around 314 people access the centre each week. This year our Family Support team will be delivering gifts and hampers to each of the 35 family homes and we expect to see around 80 people attend our Christmas takeaway dinner,” Mr Henning said.

“We are partially funded for two specific programs and the rest of ours services and programs are unfunded including all the work we do around homelessness, as is much of the work around marginalised families. As such, we rely on the good will of the community to support the work we do in these areas and Maroochy RSL continues to be an important sponsor of the centre.

“To that we are grateful, as it has created an enormous sense of goodwill between us and the community, and the people and families we support and work with.”

Ms Paton said the Maroochy RSL has continued its support of the Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre by donating $5,000 in December for their education program, over and above the generous donations of household items, toys and gift cards from RSL House staff, volunteers and visitors.

“The money will help with Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre’s education program while we are also donating gifts, food and vouchers which can be used for the festive season.”

Maroochy RSL helps around 200 local charities a year, most recently having donated $1.45 million to Veteran and Sunshine Coast community in 2019.

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Media contact: Maya Gurry | Fresh PR & Marketing | | 0410 109 102


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