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August update from Wishlist CEO

One of the positives I’m sure will emerge from a post-pandemic world is a renewed appreciation for the little things in life.

We certainly know at Wishlist that it’s the little things that count (not taking away from big donations… we love them too!) 

Wishlist Giving Day on August 20 was an outstanding success on so many levels, but the theme – give a little, help a lot – could not be more true.

To have raised more than $241,757 for our ongoing and future funding commitments is a great relief but there were so many other benefits from our first ever digital fundraising appeal. 

Our health teams rallied like never before for their foundation and we couldn’t be more grateful. Thanks to prizes donated by Mercure Lake Kawana and Infectious Clothing we had teams competing to raise the most funds for weeks prior. These were incredibly generous donations for busy teams devoted to long hours spent keeping patients alive and well. 

The Anaesthetics team at SCUH won by raising $9,550 and holding baby photo and “guess the number of needle caps in the bottle” competitions and a twilight charity run.

The Extended Day Surgery Unit at SCUH came a close second $7,677 and Nambour Hospital at $5,030. We had the paediatric team dressed up as presents and super-heroes and the team from MASH.

Photo: Extended Day Surgery Unit at SCUJH

Our business community not only donated $70,000 in matched giving funds, but sent their sales teams into the temporary call-centre at the front of SCUH to ring in donations.

Thanks to our corporate matchers Sunshine Toyota, Project Urban, Exemplar Health, Just Better Care, Protector Aluminum, IGA Maleny, Westpac Kawana, Forest Glen Bakery, Rockwall Partners, BDO, Medwell and Telstra Shops Caloundra, Kawana, Nambour and Birtinya we reached our initial target of $140,000 by lunchtime. Again, those who gave had their donations doubled by this proactive group of community conscious businesses and that went a long way towards our target.

Thanks to Ray White Maroochydore, Ausmar Homes, your local Telstra Shops, Wealthmed, Sunshine Toyota, Poole Group, Travel Associates and a number of our generous volunteers we surpassed our next target of $200,000, then $230,000 to reach the impressive tally of $241,757. Darren Venning from Sunshine Toyota matched every cent his sales team raised and won the title of most successful fundraising team – bringing in $20,070 on top of his contribution as a corporate matcher. A little time on the day helped us reach people we never would have and took us past our goal – twice.

Darren Venning from Sunshine Toyota – top fundraising team.

The team at 92.7 Mix FM devoted their entire day to Wishlist Giving Day, broadcasting from SCUH from 9am to 6pm and interviewing our health team, Wishlist supporters and donors. The exposure our charity received throughout the day was priceless and I’ve no doubt that the day would not have been anywhere near as successful without the incredibly generous support of Mix FM. 

This organisation has raised $5.5 million for paediatric needs across our local hospitals and has, quite simply, changed the face of local paediatric services in the most priceless of ways. They continue to dedicate the resources of the station to making the Sunshine Coast even better for our families and we can’t thank them enough for supporting Wishlist.

See the list of Top Fundraisers here.

So, thanks to you all, we’re now busy reviewing our long Wish List to ensure we continue all the important things that make life a little easier for our loved ones in hospital.

We have recently ordered three paediatric resuscitation trolleys for emergency departments at SCUH, Nambour and Gympie thanks to Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids. To standardise this equipment saves time for staff who may not be familiar with the trolleys currently in use, and every child-size need is in one place. Little things, but very important when you’re racing the clock to save a sick or injured child.

We also ordered a blanket warmer for Ward 5D at SCUH thanks to a recent donation from the Heller Foundation. One of our team recalls a period in hospital where the only thing that kept her buoyed was the warm blanket the nurses would bring when she needed it most – a warm hug at a time of fear and sadness.

We’ve also ordered a bariatric training mannequin for staff of the SCHHS, and a bilaterial arm accessory for SCUH to assist with breast cancer biopsies. The bilateral arm was purchased with proceeds of Wishlist Melbourne Cup last year, with funds remaining from the fit-out of the sensory rooms at Breastscreen. The beautiful imagery donated by local photographer Ross Eason brings a sense of peace and calm to the rooms … little things.

Pic: Wishlist-funded Breastscreen updates at Nambour Hospital.

The unveiling of these rooms took place this month with the attendance of Buderim Foundation, who partnered with Wishlist on the project. This serene environment was also thanks to sponsors of the Melbourne Cup event – Spire Law, TShop Biz and BDO. 

$7,000 worth of resources for the Acute Restorative Care Unit arrived recently to help provide distraction from the clinical environment of the ward for patients with dementia. The equipment is part of suite of sensory enrichment resources to transform space within the ward with sound, images, music, lighting and colour – when the redevelopment work is complete and space permits. Until then we’re funding what we can to make a difference, thanks to the past support of Kruger Law, Just Better Care and Poole Group.

We’ve also funded $6,000 in promotional equipment and merchandise to support education and health screening for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, thanks to the Woolworths Wall Token Appeal, and we’ve just ordered another $9,000 more.

$4,760 worth of pressure cushions were delivered to the Community Chronic Conditions Service to help the physiotherapists determine the best long-term solution to preventing or healing pressure injuries.

The fine work of our physios is something our own Jeff McColl has firsthand knowledge of after experiencing a serious motorbike accident a few months ago. He’s finally back on deck after a lengthy healing period, and he’s become personally familiar with the wonderful work of our health team.

Our Care Packs were distributed to hundreds of vulnerable patients and the stories about how they were received have warmed us all. Nurse navigators advised one pack had broken through to a mental health patient in such a way that it enabled the team to work with him in ways that were seemingly impossible prior.

Pic: One of the Wishlist Care Packs

Reed House and Wishlist House have been busy providing accommodation to families needing an affordable option near SCUH and Nambour Hospital. We’ve had a mix of cancer patients from Gympie and beyond receiving ongoing cancer treatment, families needing to be close to a loved one in hospital and new mums with little ones in Neonatal who need to be close. Our volunteers at Reed House continue to provide a free shuttle service run to SCUH each day, as required by our guests at Reed and the stories of gratitude from those that stay in Reed House or Wishlist House are truly heartwarming.

One guest who stayed at Wishlist House recently called to express her gratitude for the warm bed, the sunny outdoor space and the company during her lengthy stay. She said staying at the house was far better than a hotel due to the company of fellow guests at the end of a long day at the hospital with her husband. The few minutes spent watching her children play on the lawn, in the sun, while she had a cup of tea with a new friend made the days endurable – and she is eternally grateful to everyone who gave her that gift.

Thank you for all you do for Wishlist.  Keep well.

Lisa Rowe – Wishlist CEO.