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Victims of domestic violence in Ipswich have been given a hand up by the local Freemasons, to make a fresh start in 2018.

The Queensland Lodge No. 2 with the help of Hand Heart Pocket has donated $5,000 to The Women’s Crisis Support Service – formerly known as the Ipswich Women’s Shelter Against Domestic Violence.

The donation will allow the Centre to provide the essentials like clothes and toiletries to the women and their children, upon arrival, allowing them to focus on rebuilding their lives.

The funds will also allow similar assistance to be provided to these women when they first resettle in the community.

Queensland Lodge representative, Ian De Villiers said the courage shown by these women was inspiring.

“We’re so pleased to be able to help these women start life anew,” he said. 

“Many turn up often with just the clothes on their backs, so these items prove crucial. If we are to make Ipswich a better place, then we all need to do our part,” Ian said. 

Last financial year the Centre took in 63 women and 74 children.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark commended the Queensland Lodge for sticking up for vulnerable women and children impacted by domestic violence in their community.

“The Queensland Lodge should be very proud of their efforts. The belief that everyone should be treated equally is in keeping with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and misfortune to lead a better life.  This is the reason we were prepared to match the Lodges contribution,” Gary said.

Photo: Queensland Lodge representative, Ian De Villiers hands over a cheque for $5,000 to Catherine Johns from The Women’s Crisis Support Service in Ipswich.

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket

Watch footage of the official cheque handover that occurred in June

The state’s largest drop-in and support centre for the homeless, 3rd Space Brisbane (formerly 139 Club), is now open seven days a week– just in time for Christmas.

Thanks to a $340,000 donation from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland,
3rd Space will be able to provide its much-needed services – including one-on-one support, day beds, showers, laundry facilities and café – on Saturdays and Sundays.

3rd Space Chief Executive Officer, Sara Harrup said the extended hours meant a lot to those doing it tough in Brisbane.

“Homelessness doesn’t go away on the weekends. Being open seven days means we can provide continuity of support to our existing visitors and reach those we may not reach on other days,” she said.

“That we’ve been able to extend our hours for the Christmas period is particularly heartening. It’s a tough time of year for people who are homeless or sleeping rough, so we look forward to welcoming them to the 3rd Space family on every day of the week – including our Christmas Eve lunch.”

First through the door was Bob Stafford, who has been homeless for most of his life.

“This is fantastic. I now have somewhere safe to go on the weekends to catch up on some sleep. Dreading Friday afternoons will be a thing of the past,” he said.

Located on Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley, 3rd Space has been supporting Brisbane’s homeless since 1975 and currently provides a safe place to rest and rejuvenate for more than 100 people a day.

Ms Harrup said she expected attendance to increase with the extended opening hours.

“Our numbers have been steadily growing for some time and weekend opening hours will add to this. Consequently, we are now doubling our efforts to raise funds so that 3rd Space can continue to offer its services for many years to come,” she said.

“We’ve worked hard to get to this point – seven-day opening, our new 3rd Space Café – so, we’re very keen to keep the momentum going long after the seven-day 12-month pilot has concluded.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said at a celebratory morning tea last Saturday to mark the commencement of the 7-day service that Hand Heart Pocket was proud to be able to make life a little better for Brisbane’s homeless.

“Support of the homeless and marginalised members of our community aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values, which are about alleviating suffering and misfortune to empower people to lead better lives,” he said.

“We’re very hopeful that this donation, which was made on behalf of our members, will assist 3rd Space to gather the data they need, to be able to secure longer-term funding from the government or private donors,” he said.

Photo: (from left) Hand Heart Pocket Board Chairman, Tom Wiltshire;  3rd Space Brisbane Chairman, Ian Sampson and Chief Executive Officer, Sara Harrup; Hand Heart Pocket Director and Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland, Alan Townson; 3rd Space Brisbane Director, Vincent McFarlane; and Hand Heart Pocket Director, Greg Short and Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark. 

See who our other charity partners are

For the past five years, the Freemasons of Ipswich have dedicated their annual fundraiser to Guide Dogs Queensland, raising vital funds to empower Queenslanders with low or no vision to lead better lives.

Last week, United Tradesmen’s Lodge handed over a cheque for $10,000 with the help of Hand Heart Pocket – bringing their collective contribution to over $38,000 in five years.

Lodge Secretary Ian Brown said funds raised at this year’s Dining in the Dark event would go towards purchasing equipment for Guide Dogs Queensland’s recently refurbished breeding centre, where it’s newest canine recruits are trained.

“At United Tradesmen’s Lodge, we believe that everyone is equal,” Ian said.

“It’s important that people with low or no vision get the support they need to lead independent lives, and Guide Dogs Queensland provides a range of services to improve the mobility and ultimately the quality of life of those who are in this position,” he said.

“The stepmother of one of our Lodge members is vision impaired and is the inspiration behind our annual Dining in the Dark event. While it’s great fun to have dinner blindfolded and take part in sensory games, the evening is really about raising vital funds and getting a sense of the challenges faced by those with low or no vision,” he said.

Ian revealed that the event brought people from far and wide but wanted to thank the people of Ipswich for standing by them.

“The generosity of the local community continues to amaze us. We are grateful for all the support we received from businesses in the area who donated items for the auctions and raffles. We could not have hosted this event without their support.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark congratulated United Tradesmen’s Lodge on their continued efforts.

“It’s great to see this annual event go from strength to strength. United Tradesmen’s Lodge has done a tremendous job of raising the profile of Masonic charity in the community while supporting a worthy cause.

“Of course, Hand Heart Pocket was only too happy to support them again this year because we share in the view that by empowering people to lead better lives we make our community a better a place,” he said.

Photo: Guests at the 5th Annual Dining in the Dark Ipswich event feasting on a two course meal in blindfolds. 

Find out how you can start a fundraiser to support Hand Heart Pocket 

Watch our 2017 Year in Review Event Highlights Reel

View our Annual Review 2017

Earlier this month, donors, supporters and beneficiaries of Hand Heart Pocket came together for the Year in Review Event, which was just as much about the organisation’s achievements over the past 12 months, as it was about the future.

Held in the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre at South Bank, on November 6, the uplifting evening was a showcase of the organisations empowered by Hand Heart Pocket this year, while being the perfect backdrop for the launch of the long-term plan and Christmas Appeal.

Chairman, Tom Wiltshire began the evening by launching “Our Strategy 2018-2024” during which he screened a short and engaging whiteboard video to explain how the long-term plan was developed and what steps would be taken to ensure the philanthropic work of Freemasons could continue for the next 100 years. It also showed the role that members played in shaping the organisation’s future direction.

Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark was next to address the audience, detailing how the management team worked to achieve the target outcome set out in the Interim Strategic Plan 2016-2017 in order to lay the foundations for a longer-term plan. He also revealed that this year, Hand Heart Pocket, through the distribution of its charitable funds had impacted more Queenslanders than ever before.

The highlight of the evening was when guests heard directly from the organisations that experienced the generosity of Hand Heart Pocket this year including, 3rd Space (formerly 139 Club), Camp Quality, Women’s Legal Service Queensland, and Bloomhill Cancer Care (on behalf of COUCH). Divided into groups, guests moved from station to station to hear about the unique challenges faced by each of these charities and the impact of Hand Heart Pocket’s donation on their clients and services. Investment Advisors Cambridge Associates also spoke about how they worked with Hand Heart Pocket to develop its investment strategy and policy, which is set to play a huge part in allowing Hand Heart Pocket to deliver on its mission.

Another moving part of the night was the official launch of the Hand Heart Pocket 2017 Christmas Appeal, with members from Mitchell Masonic Lodge presenting the first Lodge donation towards the Appeal. This year the Christmas Appeal is dedicated to the Grand Master’s wife’s chosen charity, the Children’s Hospital Foundation, with 100% of all donations, helping to fund vital rehabilitation equipment and services at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, where thousands of critically ill or injured children from across Queensland are treated each year.

It was only fitting that Freemason and founder of the Joyful Foundation, Ron Donnellan said a heartfelt few words to endorse the Appeal, after the 2016 Christmas Appeal benefited his charity in North Queensland. Ron was proud to give an update on the expansion of their program which provides the basic essentials to the region’s disadvantaged primary school students, empowering them to reach their full potential. He called on all those gathered to dig deep, saying that he would be an advocate for the 2017 Christmas Appeal upon his return to Townsville.

Hand Heart Pocket would like to thank all those who attended the inspirational evening and for their ongoing support, as the organisation looks to continue its legacy of charity and benevolence by becoming one of the state’s top charities, providing vital support for the people of Queensland and Papua New Guinea for years to come.

 

Freemasons in Papua New Guinea have come forward to help with upgrades at a local centre for children and young people with disabilities.

Their efforts will help ensure the second and final construction stage – a double classroom –can begin. Madang Masonic Lodge, with the support of Hand Heart Pocket, has donated $6,000 to the Creative Self Help Centre.

The centre is one of the only places of its kind in the remote northern province. It provides vital education and rehabilitation services for local children and young people who live with disabilities, empowering them to lead independent lives.

Madang Lodge Secretary Ken McArthur said the funds raised would go towards purchasing materials and equipment required to complete the project.

“We’re really excited to see the double classroom come together,” Ken said.

“I personally have been involved with the centre for 20 years and can only describe their work as exemplary.

“Creative Self Help Centre is an independent organisation, with professionals and volunteers who are truly passionate about the work they do.”

“Freemasonry teaches us to look out for others in our community. So, by giving a hand up to an organisation that educates and empowers young people with intellectual and physical disabilities to lead independent lives, we are putting our values into action,” Ken said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark congratulated the Lodge for its charitable efforts.

“This initiative really hit home for Hand Heart Pocket, because we strive to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes,” Gary said.

“By helping with the construction of the second half of the double classroom, we will be enhancing not only the learning environment but clients’ overall wellbeing.

“This is the first time Madang Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket have worked together to make a difference in Papua New Guinea. We hope we can continue working together for the betterment of local communities in Madang Province,” he said. 

Photo: Creative Self Help Centre Madang

Find out who Hand Heart Pocket helps 

Watch the video of how rehabilitation at the LCCH improved Abi’s quality of life

Members from Mitchell Masonic Lodge made the 600km journey to Brisbane last week to kick off the Hand Heart Pocket 2017 Christmas Appeal with a generous $6000 donation.

The cheque handover took place at the Year in Review Event, moments after Chairman, Tom Wiltshire launched the Appeal, calling on all donors, supporters and members to help reach the $150,000 target.

The 2017 Christmas Appeal is dedicated to the Grand Master’s wife’s chosen charity, the Children’s Hospital Foundation. 100% of all donations will help support the rehabilitation of 600 critically ill Queensland children through the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital (LCCH) in Brisbane this year, funding vital rehabilitation services like music therapy sessions and equipment.

Mitchell Lodge representative, Bill Purcell said the Appeal resonated with their members, as a few had recently had great grandchildren treated at the Hospital.

“We are extremely proud to have been the first Lodge to support this year’s Christmas Appeal,” Bill said.

“Many of us are family men. Knowing that the rehabilitation specialists at the LCCH are committed to giving these children their lives back is so inspiring. Not only will our efforts help improve their quality of life, but increase their chances of getting home sooner,” he said.

Also, finding out that, of all the children treated at the LCCH this year, around half were from the regions, really struck a chord with the Lodge.

“It is quite possible that a young child from our own community could directly benefit from this donation and have the chance of a normal life.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark thanked Mitchell Lodge for their generosity and encouraged others to get behind the Appeal.

“For a Lodge that is such a long way from Brisbane, to relate to this Appeal, just shows the impact that this Hospital has already had on rebuilding the lives of Queensland’s sickest children,” Gary said.

“Supporting the Children’s Hospital Foundation, to help fund vital rehabilitation equipment and services at the LCCH, aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about empowering people to lead better lives, and in this case, empowering, Queensland children impacted by a serious illness or injury to get home sooner,” he said.

“I’d like to remind members that all Lodge donations will be matched dollar for dollar, with no limits to be applied. I encourage all those that are yet to donate, to show their support.”

Photo: Representatives from Mitchell Masonic Lodge, Dave Walters, Ian Hotchin and Bill Purcell, alongside the Grand Master’s wife, Robyn Townson and the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Director of Development, Katrina Hart. 

Find out more or donate to the Hand Heart Pocket 2017 Christmas Appeal proudly supporting the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

 

 

 

For almost 40 years, Lifeflight (formerly known as Careflight) has come to the rescue of thousands of critically ill and injured patients in regional and remote Queensland, providing emergency medical care and transportation to the nearest major hospital.

In recognition of their commitment to the Wide-Bay Burnett region, Boonara Masonic Lodge with the help of Hand Heart Pocket has donated $5000 worth of lifesaving equipment to be used on board the RACQ Lifeflight Rescue helicopter.

Boonara Lodge Worshipful Master, Steve Rath said their remoteness and the condition of the roads had meant the Lifeflight chopper was their only link to major medical support for those in need of urgent attention.

“The people of our district benefit greatly from this service, from the smallest of babies to the elderly, so we have everything to gain from supporting Lifeflight – enabling them to continue providing this vital service,” Steve said.

Boonara Lodge’s respect for the work of Lifeflight goes back to when one of its Lodge members was given a second chance at life.

“Reg might not have made it, if it wasn’t for Lifeflight.”

“He was on his way home from the local Tansey Bowls Club one evening, and had stopped on the side of the road when a car approached from the bend and t-boned him. While many people worked to save his life, without Lifeflight he wouldn’t have reached a major hospital equipped with the resources to help him,” he said.

“Reg is here today and is doing remarkably well for someone in his 80s, so we’re very grateful for all that Lifeflight did for him when he needed them.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, acknowledged the important role that organisations like Lifeflight play in regional communities and commended Boonara Lodge for supporting such a deserving cause.

“Helping to alleviate suffering and misfortune is one of Hand Heart Pocket’s values, so Boonara Lodge’s intention to donate this vital equipment was the perfect fit,” Gary said.

“It’s important that people in the Wide-Bay Burnett region know that, the local Freemasons are generous, community minded people who are ready to make a difference where they can,” he said.

Photo: Boonara Lodge representatives Maurie Sheather; LifeFlight Pilot Andrew Caton, Sunshine Coast Coordinator Mandy Hentschel and Lodge representative Steve Rath. 

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket

Residents at Mackay’s Nanyima Aged Care have given the new shade structure above their BBQ area, the thumbs up, which was made possible by members of Hamilton Masonic Lodge with the support of Hand Heart Pocket.

This new improvement will allow year-round use of the space, giving residents at the 51-bed facility yet another spot to spend time outdoors, whether that’s to enjoy a BBQ lunch with fellow residents, to socialise with loved ones or to sit peacefully and get some fresh air.

Lodge Secretary, Ron Jackson said it was great to hear that their efforts had been so well received.

“We hope the BBQ areas becomes even more popular than it already is,” Ron said.

“Being outdoors and being able to enjoy a BBQ or two, every now and again, is part and parcel of life here in Queensland, so this initiative of ours, we feel, contributes to enriching residents’ well-being.”

“Above all we hope that through our effort we’re able to bring joy to residents. Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures that make all the difference,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark praised Hamilton Lodge for their thoughtfulness and passion to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

“Helping to improve the quality of life of aged care residents by enhancing their surroundings is in line with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about empowering people to lead better lives,” Gary said. 

“Therefore we did not hesitate to support Hamilton Lodge with their fundraising,” he said. 

Photo: Nanyima Aged Care Event Coordinator, Marion Barton with Hamilton Lodge representative Phil Lansdown and Facility Manager Margret Campbell

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket  

 

Bloomhill Cancer Care on the Sunshine Coast will be able to count on the support of the local Maroochydore Masonic Lodge to help make their latest fundraising initiative a reality.

The provider of integrated cancer care services on the Sunshine Coast is looking to replace three of its vehicles as part of its client transport fleet, with four new vehicles, which will be used to drive patients to and from local and Brisbane-based treatment, specialist and doctor appointments and other Bloomhill services.

Last year alone, Bloomhill’s volunteer drivers drove over 160,000 kms, making 1620 individual trips to support patients through a particularly difficult time in their lives.

Worshipful Master, Colin Elrington said the Lodge was on track to donate $10,000 towards the project which is expected to cost around $65,000 all up.

“One of our members is a volunteer driver at Bloomhill and confirmed that their vehicles were getting on, so we decided to put our heads together to raise some funds towards the purchase of the four vehicles,” Colin said.

“Bloomhill Cancer Care is an asset to region, everything they do is to make life better for cancer patients and their families, and many of their services are provided free of charge or at very little cost to the clients.”

“A big thank you to everyone for their support. Your generosity will help us, to help Bloomhill Cancer Care to increase its capability to transport more of the region’s cancer patients,” Colin said.

To help the Lodge with their fundraising, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has contributed $5000 through their Dollar for Dollar Subsidy Program, with the Lodge having come up with $5000 to reach their target.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, said it’s been a pleasure to support Maroochydore Lodge with their donation to Bloomhill Cancer Care.

“Empowering organisations such as Bloomhill Cancer Care to assist more patients through their cancer journey, allowing them to stay close to their families, is something that Hand Heart Pocket can relate to,” Gary said.

“Alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives is part of what we stand for,” he said. 

Photo: Maroochydore Masonic Lodge representatives Colin Elrington, Mike Aldrich, Bob Medlicott, and Ms Mervat Quirke CEO Bloomhill Cancer Care. 

Find out more about our Philosophy

Hervey Bay Special School’s newest outdoor area can now be used to its full potential following the installation of a shade sail made possible in part, by the local Masonic Lodge.

Mundubbera Burnett Lodge and the Sandy Strait Sizzlers, with the help of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, have contributed $10,000 towards the shade sail project which cost $13,000 all up.

Mundubbera Burnett Lodge Secretary, Peter Keller said it’s been fantastic to help the school with this project, which has meant students and teachers can enjoy the new space while being protected from the sun.

“The new space is such a great addition to the school and will enhance the students’ school experience,” Peter said.

Currently, close to 100 students with disabilities are enrolled at the school, with each expected to make use of the new space at one time or another.   

“We have such great weather in Queensland so it would be a shame not to spend more time learning outdoors,” Peter said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark congratulated Mundubbera Burnett Lodge for pitching in.

“In the last 10 years Mundubbera Burnett Lodge in conjunction with the Sandy Strait Sizzlers have donated over $80,000 to various charities in the Wide Bay region, giving countless individuals, community groups and organisations a hand up,” Gary said.

“Enriching the lives of students, by helping to improve the built environment, tallies with Hand Heart Pocket’s purpose which is about providing sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes. Thus we were keen to match the fundraising efforts of the Lodge, enabling them to make a bigger difference,” he said.

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket 

Photo: Mundubbera Burnett Lodge and the Sandy Strait Sizzlers, along with Hand Heart Pocket joined forces to ensure the installation of a shade sail for the benefit of students at Hervey Bay Special School.

Victims of domestic violence in Ipswich have been given a hand up by the local Freemasons, to make a fresh start in 2018.

The Queensland Lodge No. 2 with the help of Hand Heart Pocket has donated $5,000 to The Women’s Crisis Support Service – formerly known as the Ipswich Women’s Shelter Against Domestic Violence.

The donation will allow the Centre to provide the essentials like clothes and toiletries to the women and their children, upon arrival, allowing them to focus on rebuilding their lives.

The funds will also allow similar assistance to be provided to these women when they first resettle in the community.

Queensland Lodge representative, Ian De Villiers said the courage shown by these women was inspiring.

“We’re so pleased to be able to help these women start life anew,” he said. 

“Many turn up often with just the clothes on their backs, so these items prove crucial. If we are to make Ipswich a better place, then we all need to do our part,” Ian said. 

Last financial year the Centre took in 63 women and 74 children.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark commended the Queensland Lodge for sticking up for vulnerable women and children impacted by domestic violence in their community.

“The Queensland Lodge should be very proud of their efforts. The belief that everyone should be treated equally is in keeping with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and misfortune to lead a better life.  This is the reason we were prepared to match the Lodges contribution,” Gary said.

Photo: Queensland Lodge representative, Ian De Villiers hands over a cheque for $5,000 to Catherine Johns from The Women’s Crisis Support Service in Ipswich.

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket

Watch footage of the official cheque handover that occurred in June

The state’s largest drop-in and support centre for the homeless, 3rd Space Brisbane (formerly 139 Club), is now open seven days a week– just in time for Christmas.

Thanks to a $340,000 donation from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland,
3rd Space will be able to provide its much-needed services – including one-on-one support, day beds, showers, laundry facilities and café – on Saturdays and Sundays.

3rd Space Chief Executive Officer, Sara Harrup said the extended hours meant a lot to those doing it tough in Brisbane.

“Homelessness doesn’t go away on the weekends. Being open seven days means we can provide continuity of support to our existing visitors and reach those we may not reach on other days,” she said.

“That we’ve been able to extend our hours for the Christmas period is particularly heartening. It’s a tough time of year for people who are homeless or sleeping rough, so we look forward to welcoming them to the 3rd Space family on every day of the week – including our Christmas Eve lunch.”

First through the door was Bob Stafford, who has been homeless for most of his life.

“This is fantastic. I now have somewhere safe to go on the weekends to catch up on some sleep. Dreading Friday afternoons will be a thing of the past,” he said.

Located on Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley, 3rd Space has been supporting Brisbane’s homeless since 1975 and currently provides a safe place to rest and rejuvenate for more than 100 people a day.

Ms Harrup said she expected attendance to increase with the extended opening hours.

“Our numbers have been steadily growing for some time and weekend opening hours will add to this. Consequently, we are now doubling our efforts to raise funds so that 3rd Space can continue to offer its services for many years to come,” she said.

“We’ve worked hard to get to this point – seven-day opening, our new 3rd Space Café – so, we’re very keen to keep the momentum going long after the seven-day 12-month pilot has concluded.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said at a celebratory morning tea last Saturday to mark the commencement of the 7-day service that Hand Heart Pocket was proud to be able to make life a little better for Brisbane’s homeless.

“Support of the homeless and marginalised members of our community aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values, which are about alleviating suffering and misfortune to empower people to lead better lives,” he said.

“We’re very hopeful that this donation, which was made on behalf of our members, will assist 3rd Space to gather the data they need, to be able to secure longer-term funding from the government or private donors,” he said.

Photo: (from left) Hand Heart Pocket Board Chairman, Tom Wiltshire;  3rd Space Brisbane Chairman, Ian Sampson and Chief Executive Officer, Sara Harrup; Hand Heart Pocket Director and Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland, Alan Townson; 3rd Space Brisbane Director, Vincent McFarlane; and Hand Heart Pocket Director, Greg Short and Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark. 

See who our other charity partners are

For the past five years, the Freemasons of Ipswich have dedicated their annual fundraiser to Guide Dogs Queensland, raising vital funds to empower Queenslanders with low or no vision to lead better lives.

Last week, United Tradesmen’s Lodge handed over a cheque for $10,000 with the help of Hand Heart Pocket – bringing their collective contribution to over $38,000 in five years.

Lodge Secretary Ian Brown said funds raised at this year’s Dining in the Dark event would go towards purchasing equipment for Guide Dogs Queensland’s recently refurbished breeding centre, where it’s newest canine recruits are trained.

“At United Tradesmen’s Lodge, we believe that everyone is equal,” Ian said.

“It’s important that people with low or no vision get the support they need to lead independent lives, and Guide Dogs Queensland provides a range of services to improve the mobility and ultimately the quality of life of those who are in this position,” he said.

“The stepmother of one of our Lodge members is vision impaired and is the inspiration behind our annual Dining in the Dark event. While it’s great fun to have dinner blindfolded and take part in sensory games, the evening is really about raising vital funds and getting a sense of the challenges faced by those with low or no vision,” he said.

Ian revealed that the event brought people from far and wide but wanted to thank the people of Ipswich for standing by them.

“The generosity of the local community continues to amaze us. We are grateful for all the support we received from businesses in the area who donated items for the auctions and raffles. We could not have hosted this event without their support.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark congratulated United Tradesmen’s Lodge on their continued efforts.

“It’s great to see this annual event go from strength to strength. United Tradesmen’s Lodge has done a tremendous job of raising the profile of Masonic charity in the community while supporting a worthy cause.

“Of course, Hand Heart Pocket was only too happy to support them again this year because we share in the view that by empowering people to lead better lives we make our community a better a place,” he said.

Photo: Guests at the 5th Annual Dining in the Dark Ipswich event feasting on a two course meal in blindfolds. 

Find out how you can start a fundraiser to support Hand Heart Pocket 

Watch our 2017 Year in Review Event Highlights Reel

View our Annual Review 2017

Earlier this month, donors, supporters and beneficiaries of Hand Heart Pocket came together for the Year in Review Event, which was just as much about the organisation’s achievements over the past 12 months, as it was about the future.

Held in the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre at South Bank, on November 6, the uplifting evening was a showcase of the organisations empowered by Hand Heart Pocket this year, while being the perfect backdrop for the launch of the long-term plan and Christmas Appeal.

Chairman, Tom Wiltshire began the evening by launching “Our Strategy 2018-2024” during which he screened a short and engaging whiteboard video to explain how the long-term plan was developed and what steps would be taken to ensure the philanthropic work of Freemasons could continue for the next 100 years. It also showed the role that members played in shaping the organisation’s future direction.

Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark was next to address the audience, detailing how the management team worked to achieve the target outcome set out in the Interim Strategic Plan 2016-2017 in order to lay the foundations for a longer-term plan. He also revealed that this year, Hand Heart Pocket, through the distribution of its charitable funds had impacted more Queenslanders than ever before.

The highlight of the evening was when guests heard directly from the organisations that experienced the generosity of Hand Heart Pocket this year including, 3rd Space (formerly 139 Club), Camp Quality, Women’s Legal Service Queensland, and Bloomhill Cancer Care (on behalf of COUCH). Divided into groups, guests moved from station to station to hear about the unique challenges faced by each of these charities and the impact of Hand Heart Pocket’s donation on their clients and services. Investment Advisors Cambridge Associates also spoke about how they worked with Hand Heart Pocket to develop its investment strategy and policy, which is set to play a huge part in allowing Hand Heart Pocket to deliver on its mission.

Another moving part of the night was the official launch of the Hand Heart Pocket 2017 Christmas Appeal, with members from Mitchell Masonic Lodge presenting the first Lodge donation towards the Appeal. This year the Christmas Appeal is dedicated to the Grand Master’s wife’s chosen charity, the Children’s Hospital Foundation, with 100% of all donations, helping to fund vital rehabilitation equipment and services at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, where thousands of critically ill or injured children from across Queensland are treated each year.

It was only fitting that Freemason and founder of the Joyful Foundation, Ron Donnellan said a heartfelt few words to endorse the Appeal, after the 2016 Christmas Appeal benefited his charity in North Queensland. Ron was proud to give an update on the expansion of their program which provides the basic essentials to the region’s disadvantaged primary school students, empowering them to reach their full potential. He called on all those gathered to dig deep, saying that he would be an advocate for the 2017 Christmas Appeal upon his return to Townsville.

Hand Heart Pocket would like to thank all those who attended the inspirational evening and for their ongoing support, as the organisation looks to continue its legacy of charity and benevolence by becoming one of the state’s top charities, providing vital support for the people of Queensland and Papua New Guinea for years to come.

 

Freemasons in Papua New Guinea have come forward to help with upgrades at a local centre for children and young people with disabilities.

Their efforts will help ensure the second and final construction stage – a double classroom –can begin. Madang Masonic Lodge, with the support of Hand Heart Pocket, has donated $6,000 to the Creative Self Help Centre.

The centre is one of the only places of its kind in the remote northern province. It provides vital education and rehabilitation services for local children and young people who live with disabilities, empowering them to lead independent lives.

Madang Lodge Secretary Ken McArthur said the funds raised would go towards purchasing materials and equipment required to complete the project.

“We’re really excited to see the double classroom come together,” Ken said.

“I personally have been involved with the centre for 20 years and can only describe their work as exemplary.

“Creative Self Help Centre is an independent organisation, with professionals and volunteers who are truly passionate about the work they do.”

“Freemasonry teaches us to look out for others in our community. So, by giving a hand up to an organisation that educates and empowers young people with intellectual and physical disabilities to lead independent lives, we are putting our values into action,” Ken said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark congratulated the Lodge for its charitable efforts.

“This initiative really hit home for Hand Heart Pocket, because we strive to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes,” Gary said.

“By helping with the construction of the second half of the double classroom, we will be enhancing not only the learning environment but clients’ overall wellbeing.

“This is the first time Madang Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket have worked together to make a difference in Papua New Guinea. We hope we can continue working together for the betterment of local communities in Madang Province,” he said. 

Photo: Creative Self Help Centre Madang

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Watch the video of how rehabilitation at the LCCH improved Abi’s quality of life

Members from Mitchell Masonic Lodge made the 600km journey to Brisbane last week to kick off the Hand Heart Pocket 2017 Christmas Appeal with a generous $6000 donation.

The cheque handover took place at the Year in Review Event, moments after Chairman, Tom Wiltshire launched the Appeal, calling on all donors, supporters and members to help reach the $150,000 target.

The 2017 Christmas Appeal is dedicated to the Grand Master’s wife’s chosen charity, the Children’s Hospital Foundation. 100% of all donations will help support the rehabilitation of 600 critically ill Queensland children through the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital (LCCH) in Brisbane this year, funding vital rehabilitation services like music therapy sessions and equipment.

Mitchell Lodge representative, Bill Purcell said the Appeal resonated with their members, as a few had recently had great grandchildren treated at the Hospital.

“We are extremely proud to have been the first Lodge to support this year’s Christmas Appeal,” Bill said.

“Many of us are family men. Knowing that the rehabilitation specialists at the LCCH are committed to giving these children their lives back is so inspiring. Not only will our efforts help improve their quality of life, but increase their chances of getting home sooner,” he said.

Also, finding out that, of all the children treated at the LCCH this year, around half were from the regions, really struck a chord with the Lodge.

“It is quite possible that a young child from our own community could directly benefit from this donation and have the chance of a normal life.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark thanked Mitchell Lodge for their generosity and encouraged others to get behind the Appeal.

“For a Lodge that is such a long way from Brisbane, to relate to this Appeal, just shows the impact that this Hospital has already had on rebuilding the lives of Queensland’s sickest children,” Gary said.

“Supporting the Children’s Hospital Foundation, to help fund vital rehabilitation equipment and services at the LCCH, aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about empowering people to lead better lives, and in this case, empowering, Queensland children impacted by a serious illness or injury to get home sooner,” he said.

“I’d like to remind members that all Lodge donations will be matched dollar for dollar, with no limits to be applied. I encourage all those that are yet to donate, to show their support.”

Photo: Representatives from Mitchell Masonic Lodge, Dave Walters, Ian Hotchin and Bill Purcell, alongside the Grand Master’s wife, Robyn Townson and the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Director of Development, Katrina Hart. 

Find out more or donate to the Hand Heart Pocket 2017 Christmas Appeal proudly supporting the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

 

 

 

For almost 40 years, Lifeflight (formerly known as Careflight) has come to the rescue of thousands of critically ill and injured patients in regional and remote Queensland, providing emergency medical care and transportation to the nearest major hospital.

In recognition of their commitment to the Wide-Bay Burnett region, Boonara Masonic Lodge with the help of Hand Heart Pocket has donated $5000 worth of lifesaving equipment to be used on board the RACQ Lifeflight Rescue helicopter.

Boonara Lodge Worshipful Master, Steve Rath said their remoteness and the condition of the roads had meant the Lifeflight chopper was their only link to major medical support for those in need of urgent attention.

“The people of our district benefit greatly from this service, from the smallest of babies to the elderly, so we have everything to gain from supporting Lifeflight – enabling them to continue providing this vital service,” Steve said.

Boonara Lodge’s respect for the work of Lifeflight goes back to when one of its Lodge members was given a second chance at life.

“Reg might not have made it, if it wasn’t for Lifeflight.”

“He was on his way home from the local Tansey Bowls Club one evening, and had stopped on the side of the road when a car approached from the bend and t-boned him. While many people worked to save his life, without Lifeflight he wouldn’t have reached a major hospital equipped with the resources to help him,” he said.

“Reg is here today and is doing remarkably well for someone in his 80s, so we’re very grateful for all that Lifeflight did for him when he needed them.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, acknowledged the important role that organisations like Lifeflight play in regional communities and commended Boonara Lodge for supporting such a deserving cause.

“Helping to alleviate suffering and misfortune is one of Hand Heart Pocket’s values, so Boonara Lodge’s intention to donate this vital equipment was the perfect fit,” Gary said.

“It’s important that people in the Wide-Bay Burnett region know that, the local Freemasons are generous, community minded people who are ready to make a difference where they can,” he said.

Photo: Boonara Lodge representatives Maurie Sheather; LifeFlight Pilot Andrew Caton, Sunshine Coast Coordinator Mandy Hentschel and Lodge representative Steve Rath. 

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Residents at Mackay’s Nanyima Aged Care have given the new shade structure above their BBQ area, the thumbs up, which was made possible by members of Hamilton Masonic Lodge with the support of Hand Heart Pocket.

This new improvement will allow year-round use of the space, giving residents at the 51-bed facility yet another spot to spend time outdoors, whether that’s to enjoy a BBQ lunch with fellow residents, to socialise with loved ones or to sit peacefully and get some fresh air.

Lodge Secretary, Ron Jackson said it was great to hear that their efforts had been so well received.

“We hope the BBQ areas becomes even more popular than it already is,” Ron said.

“Being outdoors and being able to enjoy a BBQ or two, every now and again, is part and parcel of life here in Queensland, so this initiative of ours, we feel, contributes to enriching residents’ well-being.”

“Above all we hope that through our effort we’re able to bring joy to residents. Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures that make all the difference,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark praised Hamilton Lodge for their thoughtfulness and passion to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

“Helping to improve the quality of life of aged care residents by enhancing their surroundings is in line with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about empowering people to lead better lives,” Gary said. 

“Therefore we did not hesitate to support Hamilton Lodge with their fundraising,” he said. 

Photo: Nanyima Aged Care Event Coordinator, Marion Barton with Hamilton Lodge representative Phil Lansdown and Facility Manager Margret Campbell

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Bloomhill Cancer Care on the Sunshine Coast will be able to count on the support of the local Maroochydore Masonic Lodge to help make their latest fundraising initiative a reality.

The provider of integrated cancer care services on the Sunshine Coast is looking to replace three of its vehicles as part of its client transport fleet, with four new vehicles, which will be used to drive patients to and from local and Brisbane-based treatment, specialist and doctor appointments and other Bloomhill services.

Last year alone, Bloomhill’s volunteer drivers drove over 160,000 kms, making 1620 individual trips to support patients through a particularly difficult time in their lives.

Worshipful Master, Colin Elrington said the Lodge was on track to donate $10,000 towards the project which is expected to cost around $65,000 all up.

“One of our members is a volunteer driver at Bloomhill and confirmed that their vehicles were getting on, so we decided to put our heads together to raise some funds towards the purchase of the four vehicles,” Colin said.

“Bloomhill Cancer Care is an asset to region, everything they do is to make life better for cancer patients and their families, and many of their services are provided free of charge or at very little cost to the clients.”

“A big thank you to everyone for their support. Your generosity will help us, to help Bloomhill Cancer Care to increase its capability to transport more of the region’s cancer patients,” Colin said.

To help the Lodge with their fundraising, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has contributed $5000 through their Dollar for Dollar Subsidy Program, with the Lodge having come up with $5000 to reach their target.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, said it’s been a pleasure to support Maroochydore Lodge with their donation to Bloomhill Cancer Care.

“Empowering organisations such as Bloomhill Cancer Care to assist more patients through their cancer journey, allowing them to stay close to their families, is something that Hand Heart Pocket can relate to,” Gary said.

“Alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives is part of what we stand for,” he said. 

Photo: Maroochydore Masonic Lodge representatives Colin Elrington, Mike Aldrich, Bob Medlicott, and Ms Mervat Quirke CEO Bloomhill Cancer Care. 

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Hervey Bay Special School’s newest outdoor area can now be used to its full potential following the installation of a shade sail made possible in part, by the local Masonic Lodge.

Mundubbera Burnett Lodge and the Sandy Strait Sizzlers, with the help of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, have contributed $10,000 towards the shade sail project which cost $13,000 all up.

Mundubbera Burnett Lodge Secretary, Peter Keller said it’s been fantastic to help the school with this project, which has meant students and teachers can enjoy the new space while being protected from the sun.

“The new space is such a great addition to the school and will enhance the students’ school experience,” Peter said.

Currently, close to 100 students with disabilities are enrolled at the school, with each expected to make use of the new space at one time or another.   

“We have such great weather in Queensland so it would be a shame not to spend more time learning outdoors,” Peter said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark congratulated Mundubbera Burnett Lodge for pitching in.

“In the last 10 years Mundubbera Burnett Lodge in conjunction with the Sandy Strait Sizzlers have donated over $80,000 to various charities in the Wide Bay region, giving countless individuals, community groups and organisations a hand up,” Gary said.

“Enriching the lives of students, by helping to improve the built environment, tallies with Hand Heart Pocket’s purpose which is about providing sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes. Thus we were keen to match the fundraising efforts of the Lodge, enabling them to make a bigger difference,” he said.

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Photo: Mundubbera Burnett Lodge and the Sandy Strait Sizzlers, along with Hand Heart Pocket joined forces to ensure the installation of a shade sail for the benefit of students at Hervey Bay Special School.