Christmas is a time for giving and receiving gifts, for sharing meals and quality time with friends and loved ones. Yet, many Australian families are living in uncertainty and their holiday seasons will be anything but joyous.
According to the recent “Poverty in Australia 2018” report co-published by ACOSS and UNSW Sydney, one in six children and young people around our nation are living in poverty, where even life’s basics are hard to come by.
And another statistic worthy of consideration at this time of year is the hundreds of children living with cancer for whom the future is uncertain.
WOTSO, a company that provides a network of flexible workspaces across the country, have stepped up to make a difference by helping two charities with one incredibly generous giving idea as Jessie Glew, WOTSO Chief Operation Officer, explained.
“In previous Christmas periods, we’ve supported The Smith Family with gift drives,” Glew said. “But last year we raised over $50,000 in a group head shave for The Kids’ Cancer Project. This is something our organisation is incredibly proud of and a day we will never forget so we wanted to support that charity at this time of year as well.”
WOTSO held a team lose your locks challenge and invited their contractors Brehar Building and Dynasty Electrical to join them.
Jessie Glew (center) pictured with Col Reynolds, founder of The Kids’ Cancer Project (L) and Owen Finegan, the charity’s CEO at the head shave challenge.
The Kids’ Cancer Project is a not-for-profit organisation with a mission to fund life-saving childhood cancer research. Through the generosity of good corporate citizens and the wider community, the independent national charity has distributed more than $40 million since they opened their doors 25 years ago.
“It crossed our minds that our plan to support both charities may be too much, but we like setting challenges for ourselves and we always encourage our members to get involved in worthwhile causes, so we decided to go for it,” said Glew.
That ambitious plan was to sell 150 of The Kids’ Cancer Project bears across WOTSO 13 locations nation-wide, and then donate the cuddly teds to The Smith Family for distribution.
WOTSO site leaders set up bear gifting stations.
“It was a real ‘no-brainer’ for us,” said Molly Smith, WOTSO Property Administrator. “Buying The Kids’ Cancer Project bears raises funds for vital scientific research, and then giving them to children through The Smith Family is a simple way to meld the two charities we love to support and bring a few more smiles this Christmas.”
“We ordered teddies for each of our WOTSO sites in NSW, ACT, Queensland and South Australia. Each site leader is in charge of selling them to our serviced office members and guests of the building. But I hear some even bought a few themselves!,” said Smith.
“My favourite is the Christmas bear, and I think Olivia Fairy Bear would have been my favourite when I was little,” said Smith. “It has warmed everyone’s hearts knowing they will end up with very deserving kids,” she said.
Olivia and Christmas Bear under the tree.
Within two weeks of starting the furry fundraiser, around $7,500 worth of merchandise was sold, but WOTSO have pledged to match the final figure with a cash donation making their total contribution to The Kids’ Cancer Project $15,000.
“We are so honoured to be working with The Kids’ Cancer Project,” said Glew. “Everyone has been so lovely, easy to work with and encouraging. Having the support of the team makes the experience even better.”
“Knowing where our money is going and that it is helping children with cancer, makes everyone close to WOTSO feel amazing. Like The Kids’ Cancer Project, we also look forward to being in a world where 100 per cent of children diagnosed with the disease are cured.”
“We love knowing that we are making these children’s lives a little better and brighter.”
If you’d like to take on a corporate fundraising challenge, contact The Kids’ Cancer Project partnerships team on 1800 651 158 or email email@example.com.
Donate to research and help find more effective treatments for kids with cancer.