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Ten (10) schools in Central West Queensland were among those to have benefited from the final round of funds distributed as part of the Hand Heart Pocket Drought Appeal.

The 18-month fundraising campaign which concluded in September last year, saw Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, in conjunction with its network of Masonic Lodges, raise and distribute $1 million to drought-affected communities in outback Queensland.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said the final round of funds had been distributed late last year when schools were planning for the year ahead.

“While each of the ten (10) schools had received funds from the Hand Heart Pocket Drought Appeal earlier in the campaign, it was great to be able offer more support,” Gary said.

“The schools received pre-loaded EFTPOS cards, giving them the flexibility to choose how the funds should be spent to assist those in need.  The schools were encouraged to spend the EFTPOS cards locally to support small businesses doing it tough because of the drought,” he said.

Some schools put the funds towards the purchase of workbooks and other back to school essentials, to take the load off families. Others channeled the funds towards existing programs such as purchasing food for the weekly Breakfast/Homework Club or the ‘Sip and Crunch’ initiative where students stop for a piece of fruit or vegetables and water, at the same time every day, in an effort to rehydrate, maintain energy levels and improve concentration.

Gary said Hand Heart Pocket was proud to have supported a range of demographics and initiatives through its Drought Appeal, from putting food on the table, to paying utility bills and supporting mental health initiatives, but especially supporting students in need at drought affected Queensland schools.

“If we have been able to make a difference by empowering schools to better support their students and give them opportunities that they might otherwise have missed out on, then we have achieved what we set out to do,” he said.

Photo: Muttaburra State School students with Principal Tanya Bambling using the workbooks purchased with funds distributed by Hand Heart Pocket. 

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The personal experience of a fellow Freemason has inspired Landsborough Masonic Lodge to donate $1000 in support of the Nambour General Hospital’s Dialysis Training Unit.

The donation which included a Dollar for Dollar Subsidy from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has gone towards the purchase of two handheld tablets which the nurses at the Dialysis Training Unit will use, to teach kidney patients, how to operate the in-home dialysis equipment before they return home.

Lodge Secretary, Rick Joyce, said that the new devices will enable the use of a range of visuals, to simplify the learning process, at a time when patients already have a lot of information to take in.

“Landsborough Lodge takes great pride in making a difference in our community, but it wasn’t until one of our own members needed dialysis treatment, that we came to know more about this valuable service, helping patients to adjust to their new lifestyle,” Rick said.   

“Having to go in and out of hospital or to an outpatient clinic to receive treatment can be very taxing.  Equipping those that are deemed suitable candidates for in-home dialysis, with the right skills to administer their own treatment, will mean they will only have to travel for check-ups. This is sure to bring some normality back into their lives,” he said.

“For us, this is our way of saying thank you for all that the Hospital staff have done for Des. We hope our donation makes a difference for them and the patients they care for,” Rick said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, commended Landsborough Lodge for putting into practice what Freemasonry is all about.

“Hand Heart Pocket was very pleased to support Landsborough Lodge with this initiative that will improve the delivery of care for kidney patients from the Sunshine Coast hinterland,” he said.   

Photo: Hospital staff Kalene Wadd, Monica Bellet and Gemma Blake with members of Landsborough Masonic Lodge, Alan Holdsworth and Des Rauber who is also a patient. 

Find out how you can support Hand Heart Pocket 

Hervey Bay Daylight Lodge in conjunction with a Dollar for Dollar Subsidy from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has donated $2000 towards Hervey Bay Special School’s kitchen garden program.

Assistant Lodge Secretary David Hall said a new refrigerator, microwave and a number of other kitchen appliances had been purchased for the newly renovated kitchen where students learn to prepare meals with produce they themselves have grown at the School. Students also learn how to set the table and what it means to have good table manners.

“We really admire the dedication of the teaching staff at Hervey Bay Special School and their efforts to equip students with valuable life skills regardless of their disability,” David said.

“So for us it was about supporting the School and giving students a creative outlet to express themselves and discover new things,” he said. 

To say thank you for the donation the Lodge was invited to a special dinner prepared by the students. 

“We had Vietnamese spring rolls for entrée, a pasta dish with homemade sauce and pasta made from scratch with the new pasta machine and for desert we had chocolate cheese cake.

It was to die for!” David said.

At present, three different classes take part in the School’s kitchen garden program. Each time the teacher selects a country to focus on and students learn about the culture and food of that region.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said the Lodge should be commended for supporting such a hands-on program.

Hand Heart Pocket is delighted to have been able to support Hervey Bay Daylight Lodge with this important live-changing initiative,” Gary said. 

Photo: Hervey Bay Special School, Principal, Reno Tieppo with teachers from the school and David Hall from Hervey Bay Daylight Lodge (second from right).

Find out how Hand Heart Pocket works with Masonic Lodges throughout the state to make a difference in Queensland communities. 

Blood cancer patients from regional and rural North Queensland who have no choice but to travel to Townsville for treatment are set to benefit from an $8000 donation made to the Leaukemia Foundation.

Donated by Calen Masonic Lodge in conjunction with a Dollar for Dollar Subsidy from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, the funds will go towards replacing the kitchen cooktops in 10 of the 18 self-contained units at the Leukaemia Foundation’s Queensland Freemasons Village in Townsville. The Village is a home away from home for regional blood cancer patients who stay in Townsville for the duration of their treatment.

Lodge Secretary Graham Townsend said although the Lodge was based in Mackay, their decision to support the Townsville site was unanimous.

“Calen Lodge is delighted to see the funds go towards the upkeep of the Village that Freemasons have supported for many years,” Graham said.

“In many cases blood cancer patients from all over regional North Queensland, including Mackay, travel hundreds of kilometers to undergo treatment in Townsville.”

“Being able to stay at the Queensland Freemasons Village, which is located on the grounds of the Townsville Hospital, eliminates the need to find accommodation at a time when stress levels are already high,” he said.

For Calen Lodge, the donation was also about honouring the vision of the Freemasons who pledged $1.2 million towards the construction of the Village in the early 2000s.

“As Freemasons whose forebears contributed to the development of this Village, we feel that it’s important to support the Leukemia Foundation whatever way we can, to provide a modern home away from home for those undergoing treatment for blood cancer in Townsville,” Graham said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, congratulated Calen Lodge for their fundraising efforts.

“Calen Lodge is a group comprised of compassionate, giving and proactive men who have a long history of making a difference in the community. Hand Heart Pocket was ready to support them with their latest charitable endeavour,” Gary said.

The Queensland Freemasons Village in Townsville is one of five accommodation centres operated by the Leukaemia Foundation in Queensland.

Photo: The Leukaemia Foundation’s T’aire Olsen, with Calen Lodge Freemasons Worren Thomson and Graeme Townsend.

Find out more about our Philosophy

Since the formation of Action Group COUCH in 2006, Charles and Pip Woodward have been leading the campaign for better services for people living with cancer and their families in the Cairns region.

Now, their vision of a COUCH Wellbeing Centre in Cairns is one step closer to being achieved with the announcement of a $500,000 donation from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland towards this life-changing project.

The COUCH Wellbeing Centre, is a proposed development for the Far North Queensland region which will deliver services that provide a holistic approach to cancer care with the primary goal of improving the quality of life for people living with cancer (and beyond) as well as their carers.

“The COUCH Wellbeing Centre will be modelled on the successful Bloomhill Cancer Care Centre located on the Sunshine Coast which has been operating for 20 years. The COUCH Wellbeing Centre will be a great addition to the cancer facilities available for people affected by cancer in the Cairns region,” said Charles Woodward, Chairman Cairns COUCH Ltd.

The funds will specifically go towards the construction of a large double pavilion, the first of the pavilions to be built on the Manoora site, which will house specialist and support service providers.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said that the decision to support this project was made in consultation with the Freemasons in the District, who helped to identify a deserving cause that Hand Heart Pocket could support and would benefit the people of Far North Queensland long into the future.

“This Centre will be the first of its kind in Cairns and will without a doubt be an asset to the region. Hand Heart Pocket is proud to support this regional initiative that will help to empower people living with cancer and their families, improving their quality of life,” Gary said.

The Woodward family, who also donated 2.1 hectares of land for the proposed Wellbeing Centre, are well known for their commitment to the development of the region, dating back over 100 years.

“Charles, Gordon and Jack Woodward, were integral in the early development of the Carpentaria Freemasons’ Homes in the 1970s and Woodward Retirement Village in the 1980s, both previously owned by Masonic Care Queensland. Gordon and Jack were Freemasons and the donation is also a great way for us to continue to support the charitable work of Freemasons in the District,” said Gary.

Hand Heart Pocket is the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and provides sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes by giving a hand up not a hand out to communities, to other charities and to individuals. It works with its network of Masonic Lodges to identify grassroots needs in local communities around Queensland.

“Although we are one step closer, more funds are needed to ensure our vision is achieved,” said Charles.

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, Hand Heart Pocket Chairman, Tom Wiltshire, COUCH Chairman, Charles Woodward and COUCH Director, Ron Holden. 

Find out more about the COUCH Wellbeing Centre

Meals on Wheels Mackay has received a donation just shy of $1000 from Star of the North Masonic Lodge in conjunction with a Dollar for Dollar Subsidy from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Lodge Secretary Ron Simon said the funds were used to purchase a commercial stick blender which will assist the chef prepare large amounts of blended food in a shorter period of time.

“It was important for the Lodge to support the local Meals on Wheels as they provide an essential service that many in the community depend on,” Ron said.

“They provide not only sustenance but a friendly ear to those who rarely have any visitors. So to be able to help them save time and money is fantastic.”

“To give you an example the Chef will now be able to prepare 30L of custard in one session, where as previously it would have taken them a lot longer to prepare the same amount,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, commended Star of the North Lodge for identifying the need for this appliance.

“Hand Heart Pocket fully supports Star of the North Lodge with this initiative which will greatly assist those preparing food for the Meals on Wheels clientele of Mackay,” Gary said. 

Find out more about the important work of Hand Heart Pocket, the charity of Freemasons Queensland.  

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland announced today at Hermit Park State School a donation of $80,000 to the Joyful Foundation.  Funds were raised through the Hand Heart Pocket 2016 Christmas Appeal, in conjunction with its network of Masonic Lodges throughout the State.

The donation will allow the Joyful Foundation to support North Queensland’s disadvantaged primary school students to reach their full potential by providing them with basic essentials like stationery packs, uniforms and the cost of extra-curricular activities and excursions for those who might normally go without.

The Townsville-based Masonic initiative is the legacy of former Hermit Park State School Teacher, the late Joy Donnellan, who passed away in October 2011 after an aggressive battle with cancer. Joy often took it upon herself to buy school supplies and other basic essentials for children in need to ensure every student had the opportunity to succeed.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said that the target for this appeal had been exceed by $30,000, allowing more to be done to support students in a region that has been hit hard by the economic downturn.

“We are delighted that through the funds already disbursed from our Christmas Appeal the Joyful Foundation has been able to expand its program from 44 schools to 63 schools in North Queensland with a record 600 stationery packs delivered within the first week of the school year alone,” Gary said.

“To provide a greater impact, Hand Heart Pocket matched the fundraising efforts of its Lodges dollar for dollar, bringing the total we could donate to $80,000. Now schools as far north as Cardwell and Tully; Julia Creek, Cloncurry and Mt Isa out west and; Ayr and Home Hill south of Townsville are able to receive this potentially life-changing support from the Joyful Foundation,” he said.

Joyful Foundation Founder, Freemason and father of Joy, Ron Donnellan, said that he was grateful for all those who invested in the future of North Queensland.

These students have a real chance of flourishing in the classroom instead of falling behind,” Ron said.

“It’s not until you go and speak to the Principals and Teachers in these schools that you realise how much need there is in the community,” he said.

“Joy would be wrapped, she took her job of empowering students to be their best, seriously. It is a privilege to carry on this important life-changing work and help shape the future of North Queensland,” Ron said.

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark with Joyful Foundation Founder, Ron Donnellan. 

Find out how you can make a difference by donating to Hand Heart Pocket. 

Before handing in its warrant late last year Freemasons from the Wynnum Rose-Croix Chapter together with a Dollar for Dollar subsidy from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated just over $2000 to an association enhancing the lives of people with disabilities on Brisbane’s bayside.

Essential equipment including a new lawn mower, washing machine and pantry cabinets will be purchased for Aid and Recreational Association for the Disabled (ARAD) in Wynnum – a volunteer-run day centre which provides its clients with the opportunity to participate in leisure activities to boost their confidence and cultivate life skills.

Former Wynnum Rose-Croix Chapter Recorder Rod Powell said the old equipment which was often in need of repair had become a distraction for volunteers.

“Aid and Recreational Association for the Disabled is a place where people with disabilities can come to pursue their interests and learn new skills whether that be to learn how to cook, sew, learn the art of woodwork, horticulture or simply go to the movies, swimming pool or on a scenic drive,” Rod said.

“For some of the clients this is the only place where they can mix and be part of the community. We are so proud that there is a service of this kind in our community and want to see it continue for many years to come,” he said.

Aid and Recreational Association for the Disabled Secretary Bev Mitchell, said the association very much appreciated the donation.

“Without the support of the community we would find it impossible to keep going. For groups like the Wynnum Rose-Croix Chapter to recognise what we’re doing and think it’s worthwhile supporting, means a lot to us,” Bev said.

Similarly, Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark praised the now disbanded Chapter’s charitable efforts over the years.

“Hand Heart Pocket would like to recognise the contribution Wynnum Rose-Croix Chapter has made to the local community,” Gary said.

“We were only too happy to support them and this important local initiative that is having a positive impact on all who come across it,” he said.

Photo: Aid and Recreational Association for the Disabled (ARAD) President Mary Guy, Former Wynnum Rose-Croix Chapter Recorder Rod Powell, volunteer Betty McKercher and ARAD Secretary Bev Mitchell. 

Find out more about other health initiatives to have benefitted from a Hand Heart Pocket Dollar for Dollar subsidy.

Mooloolah Lodge, in conjunction with a Dollar for Dollar Subsidy from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, has donated over $2500 to the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) in Caloundra.

The funds were used to purchase a LAERDAL Resusci Baby with QCPR – a lifelike manikin of an infant which transmits real-time information to a computer to help paramedics hone their CPR skills. 

Lodge Secretary Doug Wells said the Lodge was proud to fund such an innovative piece of equipment that will directly benefit the Sunshine Coast community.

“When responding to an emergency every second counts, so supporting our paramedics and making sure they have the latest training equipment is vital,” Doug said. 

“Technology has come such a long way. This device will give our paramedics real-time feedback as to how well they’ve administered CPR to the infant manikin, helping them to improve their technique and ultimately save lives when they are faced with a real emergency in our community,” Doug said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said that he was appreciative to Mooloolah Lodge for thinking outside the box when giving back to the local community.

“Mooloolah Lodge has done some wonderful things for the community on the Sunshine Coast over the years. Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is delighted to have been able to support them with this important live-saving initiative,” he said.

Photo: Representatives from the Queensland Ambulance Service at Caloundra Michael Metcalfe and Toni Careless (carrying the new Resusci Baby) with Mooloolah Lodge’s Norrie Morris (centre). This is the third year Mooloolah Lodge has donated Laerdal equipment to the QAS at Caloundra.

Find out more about other health initiatives to have benefitted from a Hand Heart Pocket Dollar for Dollar subsidy.

In addition to securing a Dollar for Dollar subsidy through Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, Mt Pleasant Lodge’s yearlong fundraising efforts from 2016 have culminated in a donation of close to $8500 being made to Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Queensland (SBH Queensland).

Lodge Secretary, Trevor Green said the funds will allow SBH Queensland to purchase a range of specialised equipment such as a mobility aid, physiotherapy equipment and portable potty toilet seats (not subsidised by the government) to improve the lives of children living with Spina Bifida or Hydrocephalus.

“The Lodge was compelled to support the work of SBH Queensland after hearing firsthand the challenges these families face,” Trevor said.

“We understand that the organisation will look to loan this new equipment to families on a temporary basis.”

“If through our fundraising efforts we can make a difference for these children and their families then we have accomplished what we set out to do,” Trevor said.

According to data from the Department of Health, each year roughly 150 babies are born with Spina Bifida in Australia.

Both Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus are lifelong conditions. The effects of Spina Bifida can include difficulty with coordination, mobility, muscle control, learning and even paralysis. While the effects of Hydrocephalus include drowsiness, headaches, neck pain, blurred vision and incontinence to name a few.

Photo: One of the many fundraisers held during 2016 to raise the funds donated to Spina Bifida Queensland.

Find out more about other health initiatives to have benefitted from a Hand Heart Pocket Dollar for Dollar subsidy.

 

Ten (10) schools in Central West Queensland were among those to have benefited from the final round of funds distributed as part of the Hand Heart Pocket Drought Appeal.

The 18-month fundraising campaign which concluded in September last year, saw Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, in conjunction with its network of Masonic Lodges, raise and distribute $1 million to drought-affected communities in outback Queensland.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said the final round of funds had been distributed late last year when schools were planning for the year ahead.

“While each of the ten (10) schools had received funds from the Hand Heart Pocket Drought Appeal earlier in the campaign, it was great to be able offer more support,” Gary said.

“The schools received pre-loaded EFTPOS cards, giving them the flexibility to choose how the funds should be spent to assist those in need.  The schools were encouraged to spend the EFTPOS cards locally to support small businesses doing it tough because of the drought,” he said.

Some schools put the funds towards the purchase of workbooks and other back to school essentials, to take the load off families. Others channeled the funds towards existing programs such as purchasing food for the weekly Breakfast/Homework Club or the ‘Sip and Crunch’ initiative where students stop for a piece of fruit or vegetables and water, at the same time every day, in an effort to rehydrate, maintain energy levels and improve concentration.

Gary said Hand Heart Pocket was proud to have supported a range of demographics and initiatives through its Drought Appeal, from putting food on the table, to paying utility bills and supporting mental health initiatives, but especially supporting students in need at drought affected Queensland schools.

“If we have been able to make a difference by empowering schools to better support their students and give them opportunities that they might otherwise have missed out on, then we have achieved what we set out to do,” he said.

Photo: Muttaburra State School students with Principal Tanya Bambling using the workbooks purchased with funds distributed by Hand Heart Pocket. 

Find out more about our Philosophy 

The personal experience of a fellow Freemason has inspired Landsborough Masonic Lodge to donate $1000 in support of the Nambour General Hospital’s Dialysis Training Unit.

The donation which included a Dollar for Dollar Subsidy from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has gone towards the purchase of two handheld tablets which the nurses at the Dialysis Training Unit will use, to teach kidney patients, how to operate the in-home dialysis equipment before they return home.

Lodge Secretary, Rick Joyce, said that the new devices will enable the use of a range of visuals, to simplify the learning process, at a time when patients already have a lot of information to take in.

“Landsborough Lodge takes great pride in making a difference in our community, but it wasn’t until one of our own members needed dialysis treatment, that we came to know more about this valuable service, helping patients to adjust to their new lifestyle,” Rick said.   

“Having to go in and out of hospital or to an outpatient clinic to receive treatment can be very taxing.  Equipping those that are deemed suitable candidates for in-home dialysis, with the right skills to administer their own treatment, will mean they will only have to travel for check-ups. This is sure to bring some normality back into their lives,” he said.

“For us, this is our way of saying thank you for all that the Hospital staff have done for Des. We hope our donation makes a difference for them and the patients they care for,” Rick said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, commended Landsborough Lodge for putting into practice what Freemasonry is all about.

“Hand Heart Pocket was very pleased to support Landsborough Lodge with this initiative that will improve the delivery of care for kidney patients from the Sunshine Coast hinterland,” he said.   

Photo: Hospital staff Kalene Wadd, Monica Bellet and Gemma Blake with members of Landsborough Masonic Lodge, Alan Holdsworth and Des Rauber who is also a patient. 

Find out how you can support Hand Heart Pocket 

Hervey Bay Daylight Lodge in conjunction with a Dollar for Dollar Subsidy from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has donated $2000 towards Hervey Bay Special School’s kitchen garden program.

Assistant Lodge Secretary David Hall said a new refrigerator, microwave and a number of other kitchen appliances had been purchased for the newly renovated kitchen where students learn to prepare meals with produce they themselves have grown at the School. Students also learn how to set the table and what it means to have good table manners.

“We really admire the dedication of the teaching staff at Hervey Bay Special School and their efforts to equip students with valuable life skills regardless of their disability,” David said.

“So for us it was about supporting the School and giving students a creative outlet to express themselves and discover new things,” he said. 

To say thank you for the donation the Lodge was invited to a special dinner prepared by the students. 

“We had Vietnamese spring rolls for entrée, a pasta dish with homemade sauce and pasta made from scratch with the new pasta machine and for desert we had chocolate cheese cake.

It was to die for!” David said.

At present, three different classes take part in the School’s kitchen garden program. Each time the teacher selects a country to focus on and students learn about the culture and food of that region.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said the Lodge should be commended for supporting such a hands-on program.

Hand Heart Pocket is delighted to have been able to support Hervey Bay Daylight Lodge with this important live-changing initiative,” Gary said. 

Photo: Hervey Bay Special School, Principal, Reno Tieppo with teachers from the school and David Hall from Hervey Bay Daylight Lodge (second from right).

Find out how Hand Heart Pocket works with Masonic Lodges throughout the state to make a difference in Queensland communities. 

Blood cancer patients from regional and rural North Queensland who have no choice but to travel to Townsville for treatment are set to benefit from an $8000 donation made to the Leaukemia Foundation.

Donated by Calen Masonic Lodge in conjunction with a Dollar for Dollar Subsidy from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, the funds will go towards replacing the kitchen cooktops in 10 of the 18 self-contained units at the Leukaemia Foundation’s Queensland Freemasons Village in Townsville. The Village is a home away from home for regional blood cancer patients who stay in Townsville for the duration of their treatment.

Lodge Secretary Graham Townsend said although the Lodge was based in Mackay, their decision to support the Townsville site was unanimous.

“Calen Lodge is delighted to see the funds go towards the upkeep of the Village that Freemasons have supported for many years,” Graham said.

“In many cases blood cancer patients from all over regional North Queensland, including Mackay, travel hundreds of kilometers to undergo treatment in Townsville.”

“Being able to stay at the Queensland Freemasons Village, which is located on the grounds of the Townsville Hospital, eliminates the need to find accommodation at a time when stress levels are already high,” he said.

For Calen Lodge, the donation was also about honouring the vision of the Freemasons who pledged $1.2 million towards the construction of the Village in the early 2000s.

“As Freemasons whose forebears contributed to the development of this Village, we feel that it’s important to support the Leukemia Foundation whatever way we can, to provide a modern home away from home for those undergoing treatment for blood cancer in Townsville,” Graham said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, congratulated Calen Lodge for their fundraising efforts.

“Calen Lodge is a group comprised of compassionate, giving and proactive men who have a long history of making a difference in the community. Hand Heart Pocket was ready to support them with their latest charitable endeavour,” Gary said.

The Queensland Freemasons Village in Townsville is one of five accommodation centres operated by the Leukaemia Foundation in Queensland.

Photo: The Leukaemia Foundation’s T’aire Olsen, with Calen Lodge Freemasons Worren Thomson and Graeme Townsend.

Find out more about our Philosophy

Since the formation of Action Group COUCH in 2006, Charles and Pip Woodward have been leading the campaign for better services for people living with cancer and their families in the Cairns region.

Now, their vision of a COUCH Wellbeing Centre in Cairns is one step closer to being achieved with the announcement of a $500,000 donation from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland towards this life-changing project.

The COUCH Wellbeing Centre, is a proposed development for the Far North Queensland region which will deliver services that provide a holistic approach to cancer care with the primary goal of improving the quality of life for people living with cancer (and beyond) as well as their carers.

“The COUCH Wellbeing Centre will be modelled on the successful Bloomhill Cancer Care Centre located on the Sunshine Coast which has been operating for 20 years. The COUCH Wellbeing Centre will be a great addition to the cancer facilities available for people affected by cancer in the Cairns region,” said Charles Woodward, Chairman Cairns COUCH Ltd.

The funds will specifically go towards the construction of a large double pavilion, the first of the pavilions to be built on the Manoora site, which will house specialist and support service providers.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said that the decision to support this project was made in consultation with the Freemasons in the District, who helped to identify a deserving cause that Hand Heart Pocket could support and would benefit the people of Far North Queensland long into the future.

“This Centre will be the first of its kind in Cairns and will without a doubt be an asset to the region. Hand Heart Pocket is proud to support this regional initiative that will help to empower people living with cancer and their families, improving their quality of life,” Gary said.

The Woodward family, who also donated 2.1 hectares of land for the proposed Wellbeing Centre, are well known for their commitment to the development of the region, dating back over 100 years.

“Charles, Gordon and Jack Woodward, were integral in the early development of the Carpentaria Freemasons’ Homes in the 1970s and Woodward Retirement Village in the 1980s, both previously owned by Masonic Care Queensland. Gordon and Jack were Freemasons and the donation is also a great way for us to continue to support the charitable work of Freemasons in the District,” said Gary.

Hand Heart Pocket is the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and provides sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes by giving a hand up not a hand out to communities, to other charities and to individuals. It works with its network of Masonic Lodges to identify grassroots needs in local communities around Queensland.

“Although we are one step closer, more funds are needed to ensure our vision is achieved,” said Charles.

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, Hand Heart Pocket Chairman, Tom Wiltshire, COUCH Chairman, Charles Woodward and COUCH Director, Ron Holden. 

Find out more about the COUCH Wellbeing Centre

Meals on Wheels Mackay has received a donation just shy of $1000 from Star of the North Masonic Lodge in conjunction with a Dollar for Dollar Subsidy from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Lodge Secretary Ron Simon said the funds were used to purchase a commercial stick blender which will assist the chef prepare large amounts of blended food in a shorter period of time.

“It was important for the Lodge to support the local Meals on Wheels as they provide an essential service that many in the community depend on,” Ron said.

“They provide not only sustenance but a friendly ear to those who rarely have any visitors. So to be able to help them save time and money is fantastic.”

“To give you an example the Chef will now be able to prepare 30L of custard in one session, where as previously it would have taken them a lot longer to prepare the same amount,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, commended Star of the North Lodge for identifying the need for this appliance.

“Hand Heart Pocket fully supports Star of the North Lodge with this initiative which will greatly assist those preparing food for the Meals on Wheels clientele of Mackay,” Gary said. 

Find out more about the important work of Hand Heart Pocket, the charity of Freemasons Queensland.  

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland announced today at Hermit Park State School a donation of $80,000 to the Joyful Foundation.  Funds were raised through the Hand Heart Pocket 2016 Christmas Appeal, in conjunction with its network of Masonic Lodges throughout the State.

The donation will allow the Joyful Foundation to support North Queensland’s disadvantaged primary school students to reach their full potential by providing them with basic essentials like stationery packs, uniforms and the cost of extra-curricular activities and excursions for those who might normally go without.

The Townsville-based Masonic initiative is the legacy of former Hermit Park State School Teacher, the late Joy Donnellan, who passed away in October 2011 after an aggressive battle with cancer. Joy often took it upon herself to buy school supplies and other basic essentials for children in need to ensure every student had the opportunity to succeed.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said that the target for this appeal had been exceed by $30,000, allowing more to be done to support students in a region that has been hit hard by the economic downturn.

“We are delighted that through the funds already disbursed from our Christmas Appeal the Joyful Foundation has been able to expand its program from 44 schools to 63 schools in North Queensland with a record 600 stationery packs delivered within the first week of the school year alone,” Gary said.

“To provide a greater impact, Hand Heart Pocket matched the fundraising efforts of its Lodges dollar for dollar, bringing the total we could donate to $80,000. Now schools as far north as Cardwell and Tully; Julia Creek, Cloncurry and Mt Isa out west and; Ayr and Home Hill south of Townsville are able to receive this potentially life-changing support from the Joyful Foundation,” he said.

Joyful Foundation Founder, Freemason and father of Joy, Ron Donnellan, said that he was grateful for all those who invested in the future of North Queensland.

These students have a real chance of flourishing in the classroom instead of falling behind,” Ron said.

“It’s not until you go and speak to the Principals and Teachers in these schools that you realise how much need there is in the community,” he said.

“Joy would be wrapped, she took her job of empowering students to be their best, seriously. It is a privilege to carry on this important life-changing work and help shape the future of North Queensland,” Ron said.

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark with Joyful Foundation Founder, Ron Donnellan. 

Find out how you can make a difference by donating to Hand Heart Pocket. 

Before handing in its warrant late last year Freemasons from the Wynnum Rose-Croix Chapter together with a Dollar for Dollar subsidy from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated just over $2000 to an association enhancing the lives of people with disabilities on Brisbane’s bayside.

Essential equipment including a new lawn mower, washing machine and pantry cabinets will be purchased for Aid and Recreational Association for the Disabled (ARAD) in Wynnum – a volunteer-run day centre which provides its clients with the opportunity to participate in leisure activities to boost their confidence and cultivate life skills.

Former Wynnum Rose-Croix Chapter Recorder Rod Powell said the old equipment which was often in need of repair had become a distraction for volunteers.

“Aid and Recreational Association for the Disabled is a place where people with disabilities can come to pursue their interests and learn new skills whether that be to learn how to cook, sew, learn the art of woodwork, horticulture or simply go to the movies, swimming pool or on a scenic drive,” Rod said.

“For some of the clients this is the only place where they can mix and be part of the community. We are so proud that there is a service of this kind in our community and want to see it continue for many years to come,” he said.

Aid and Recreational Association for the Disabled Secretary Bev Mitchell, said the association very much appreciated the donation.

“Without the support of the community we would find it impossible to keep going. For groups like the Wynnum Rose-Croix Chapter to recognise what we’re doing and think it’s worthwhile supporting, means a lot to us,” Bev said.

Similarly, Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark praised the now disbanded Chapter’s charitable efforts over the years.

“Hand Heart Pocket would like to recognise the contribution Wynnum Rose-Croix Chapter has made to the local community,” Gary said.

“We were only too happy to support them and this important local initiative that is having a positive impact on all who come across it,” he said.

Photo: Aid and Recreational Association for the Disabled (ARAD) President Mary Guy, Former Wynnum Rose-Croix Chapter Recorder Rod Powell, volunteer Betty McKercher and ARAD Secretary Bev Mitchell. 

Find out more about other health initiatives to have benefitted from a Hand Heart Pocket Dollar for Dollar subsidy.

Mooloolah Lodge, in conjunction with a Dollar for Dollar Subsidy from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, has donated over $2500 to the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) in Caloundra.

The funds were used to purchase a LAERDAL Resusci Baby with QCPR – a lifelike manikin of an infant which transmits real-time information to a computer to help paramedics hone their CPR skills. 

Lodge Secretary Doug Wells said the Lodge was proud to fund such an innovative piece of equipment that will directly benefit the Sunshine Coast community.

“When responding to an emergency every second counts, so supporting our paramedics and making sure they have the latest training equipment is vital,” Doug said. 

“Technology has come such a long way. This device will give our paramedics real-time feedback as to how well they’ve administered CPR to the infant manikin, helping them to improve their technique and ultimately save lives when they are faced with a real emergency in our community,” Doug said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said that he was appreciative to Mooloolah Lodge for thinking outside the box when giving back to the local community.

“Mooloolah Lodge has done some wonderful things for the community on the Sunshine Coast over the years. Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is delighted to have been able to support them with this important live-saving initiative,” he said.

Photo: Representatives from the Queensland Ambulance Service at Caloundra Michael Metcalfe and Toni Careless (carrying the new Resusci Baby) with Mooloolah Lodge’s Norrie Morris (centre). This is the third year Mooloolah Lodge has donated Laerdal equipment to the QAS at Caloundra.

Find out more about other health initiatives to have benefitted from a Hand Heart Pocket Dollar for Dollar subsidy.

In addition to securing a Dollar for Dollar subsidy through Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, Mt Pleasant Lodge’s yearlong fundraising efforts from 2016 have culminated in a donation of close to $8500 being made to Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Queensland (SBH Queensland).

Lodge Secretary, Trevor Green said the funds will allow SBH Queensland to purchase a range of specialised equipment such as a mobility aid, physiotherapy equipment and portable potty toilet seats (not subsidised by the government) to improve the lives of children living with Spina Bifida or Hydrocephalus.

“The Lodge was compelled to support the work of SBH Queensland after hearing firsthand the challenges these families face,” Trevor said.

“We understand that the organisation will look to loan this new equipment to families on a temporary basis.”

“If through our fundraising efforts we can make a difference for these children and their families then we have accomplished what we set out to do,” Trevor said.

According to data from the Department of Health, each year roughly 150 babies are born with Spina Bifida in Australia.

Both Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus are lifelong conditions. The effects of Spina Bifida can include difficulty with coordination, mobility, muscle control, learning and even paralysis. While the effects of Hydrocephalus include drowsiness, headaches, neck pain, blurred vision and incontinence to name a few.

Photo: One of the many fundraisers held during 2016 to raise the funds donated to Spina Bifida Queensland.

Find out more about other health initiatives to have benefitted from a Hand Heart Pocket Dollar for Dollar subsidy.