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More young Queenslanders with high care needs are set to get the support they need, to stay at home and out of inappropriate housing after Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland today announced its renewed support to the tune of $150,000 for the 2017 round of Youngcare’s At Home Care Grants (AHCG) program.   

The grants provide one-off funding between $2,000 and $10,000 for equipment, home modifications and emergency respite for young people aged 18-65, who are at risk of entering inappropriate housing such as aged care, allowing them to remain at home with their families, for as long as possible.

Youngcare Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Ryan, said that the additional funding would assist Youngcare to deliver on its mission to ensure young people regardless of their care needs lead young lives with greater choice, dignity and independence.

Too many young Australians with high care needs are being left behind. These young people deserve the freedom to choose how they live their lives— and it’s up to all of us to make sure that happens,” Anthony said.

 In 2016, $250,000 was awarded to 44 Queensland families, enabling them to keep their loved ones at home and Hand Heart Pocket’s donation of $150,000 directly benefited 30 of those families.  “Yet, the reality is that a total of 87 people applied for grants with a value of almost $640,000, meaning that 43 people missed out, simply due to a lack of funding” he said

“With the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) the disability sector is seeing positive change and Youngcare is excited by the opportunity to scale up the options available to young people.  While working with the NDIS we continue to deliver our grants which are so vital to ensure that families are getting the support they need.  The renewed partnership with Hand Heart Pocket will enable us to again help more young people with high care needs to live the young lives we all deserve.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said that upon hearing the plight of these families who were often physically, emotionally and financially drained, Hand Heart Pocket was compelled to do more.

“Last year following our initial donation of $150,000, Hand Heart Pocket had the privilege of sitting on the panel alongside other donors, disability academics, health professionals and Youngcare staff who shortlisted and awarded the AHCG Queensland round,” Gary said.

“We came away with a great sense of pride, because we could see the difference our support would make, yet the number of families missing out on grants left us wanting to do more. We are delighted that Youngcare has once again accepted our support this year. May our combined efforts make a significant difference for more young Queenslanders with high care needs,” he said. 

Watch footage of the official cheque handover.  

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark (centre) hands over a cheque for $150K to Youngcare Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Ryan (centre right), with the Hand Heart Pocket Champions (far right) and members of Ionic Prudence Lodge standing alongside (far left). 

The state’s largest drop in and support centre for the homeless, 139 Club, is set to extend services from five to seven days a week, as part of a 12-month pilot program thanks to a $340,000 donation from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Announced this morning in Fortitude Valley at a morning tea with some of the centre’s clients, the donation will fund a pilot program that is expected to allow 139 Club to build on their efforts to provide better outcomes for the homeless.  

139 Club Chief Executive Officer, Sara Harrup, said that the donation will make all the difference to their clients and support a broader strategy to make a long term, visible impact on homelessness in the river city through the expansion of services and innovative support.   

“Homelessness is a daily struggle that doesn’t go away on the weekends. Being open seven days will enable us to provide more continuity of support and reach those we may not reach on other days – meaning those sleeping rough in Brisbane will no longer be left to get by on their own over the weekend,” Sarah said.

“139 Club has always been a home for the day for those without one and our ethos is to build resilience and promote dignity, increasing people’s capacity to sustain a better life in the long term, with support to find suitable accommodation,” she said.  

From October, 139 Club will be able to provide essential services such as meals, showers, laundry facilities, day beds, and medical attention on Saturdays and Sundays as well as a scaled back version of individual case support for emergency situations. An increased focus on social inclusion such as leisure activities will also be implemented on weekends.

“We’re very hopeful that this 12-month pilot program will provide us with the opportunity to secure longer-term funding to have a lasting impact on Brisbane’s homeless,” Sara said.

Those doing it tough agree. Angelo lives on the streets and is a frequent visitor at 139 Club.  “Opening on the weekends will be like gold.  It will help a lot of people - they are going hungry on the weekends. Now there will be a safe place to come, to get food, rest and friendship.”

Grace, another person doing it tough, agrees. “It’s a really great thing. It will help so much. I’ve just got out of a violent relationship and at 139 Club you feel safe - it’s somewhere to talk to other people and feel ok.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said that maximising the efforts of organisations that are at the coal face was central to the decision to provide funding to 139 Club.  

“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.

“Hand Heart Pocket is proud to support 139 Club, an organisation that is on our doorstep here in Fortitude Valley. This initiative has the potential to make a tangible difference for those impacted by homelessness in Brisbane and beyond,” Gary said. 

Watch footage of the official cheque handover. 

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark hands over a cheque for $340K to 139 Club Chief Executive Officer, Sara Harrup with Hand Heart Pocket Champions standing alongside.  

For over 20 years Cittamani Hospice Service on the Sunshine Coast has provided in-home palliative care support to over 3000 terminally ill patients and their families.

Today there is a growing need for their services in the region prompting the local Masonic Lodge to lend a hand.

Waverley-Palmwoods Lodge with the support of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, recently handed over two alternating air-mattresses which will add to the catalogue of specialised and essential equipment that the organisation loans out to families, including hospital beds, wheelchairs, commodes and more.

Lodge Secretary, Bill Niven said that making a difference on a local level has always been important to the Lodge.

“To think, that, this will help Cittamani provide comfort to more terminally ill people is so worthwhile in our eyes,” Bill said.

“Last year, we donated three wheelchairs and were keen to offer more support, particularly seeing as Cittamani provides its services free of charge, right from palliative care nurses, social and pastoral care workers, volunteers, through to bereavement support,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark praised Waverley-Palmwoods Lodge for standing by the local initiative.

“Showing compassion to those who are terminally ill and their families is something that Hand Heart Pocket can identify with, giving us every reason to match Waverley-Palmwoods Lodge’s donation,” Gary said.

“Our purpose is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes through engagement with communities and this is a shining example of what can be achieved when we work together,” he said.

Photo: (from back) Waverley-Palmwoods Lodge representatives Graeme McIntyre, Brad Imberger and David Ledger with (from front) Cittamani’s Jo Newman, Sue Hart from Bunnings and Lodge Secretary Bill Niven.  

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket

 

Toowoomba’s Sunrise Way Rehabilitation Centre which is home to those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction has been given a hand up from Darling Downs Masonic Lodge.

Lodge Secretary, Ken Stephen said the new laptop, which the Lodge donated, with the help of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, would support residents in their rehabilitation, improving their quality of life.

“It’s been fantastic to be able to provide this on-going support to Sunrise Way,” Ken said.

“Earlier in the year the Lodge, through their own funds, donated a projector and projector screen, so all these additional resources will assist in making the rehabilitation program more engaging and effective. The new resources are currently being used during group psychosocial education and individual counselling,” he said.

“Similarly, late last year, the Lodge donated a commercial dishwasher with Hand Heart Pocket’s assistance, ensuring residents have the facilities to wash up after preparing and cooking their own meals.”

“Without the presence of Sunrise Way in our community many people would be worse off, so we’re very supportive of their work, “Ken said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, commended Darling Downs Lodge for getting behind a local organisation that’s providing an invaluable service to the Toowoomba region and beyond.

“Hand Heart Pocket’s purpose is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes, so we were quite happy to match the charitable efforts of Darling Downs Masonic Lodge to support Sunrise Way to rebuild lives,” Gary said. 

Photo: Darling Downs Masonic Lodge representatives Ian Parry, Maurice Howell and Ken Stephen present the new laptop to Sunrise Way with Kristi standing alongside. 

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket

Kianawah Masonic Lodge with the assistance of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has donated $2000 to Brisbane charity, Community Friends.

The organisation which provides everything from food, clothing, sheets, blankets and other basic essentials for the homeless and disadvantaged, said the funds will be ‘a big help’, allowing them to purchase a months’ worth of food for their West End Food Stall.

Held every Wednesday afternoon at 4pm, the stall attracts around 150 needy people, with everything given away for free.

Kianawah Lodge Almoner, Bob Clark said it was impressive to see Community Friends founder and fellow Freemason, Mark McDonnell, and his band of volunteers hard at work, providing for those less fortunate.

“What Mark has achieved in the last few years is amazing, especially as they don’t receive any government funding. If Community Friends didn’t provide this service hundreds of people would go without,” Bob said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark praised Kianawah Lodge for rallying behind this initiative which will change lives for the better.

“Kianawah Lodge has devoted many of their weekends to raising these funds, knowing that every dollar will go towards making a difference for those less fortunate,” Gary said.  

“Support of the homeless and disadvantaged is very much in line with Hand Heart Pocket’s purpose which is about empowering, supporting and enabling humanity in an ever-changing world,” Gary said. 

Photo: Mark McDonnell from Community Friends (front left) accepts a cheque for $2000 from Kianawah Lodge Almoner Bob Clark (front right)

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

Some of Hinchinbrook Shire’s youngest and oldest residents have been touched by the generosity of their local Masonic Lodge, Hinchinbrook Cordelia Lodge.

In conjunction with a Dollar for Dollar Subsidy from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, Hinchinbrook Cordelia Lodge has donated $400 to the Lower Herbert Blue Light Association and $750 to Café Connect, a local outreach service of Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld).

Lodge Worshipful Master, Cliff Blain said essential services provided by the two organisations would be enhanced with these funds.

“Our contribution is in recognition of all those working towards making our community an inclusive one,” he said.

“One supports our youth by providing a variety of activities in a drug and alcohol free environment. The other enables people with Alzheimer’s and their carers to meet those in a similar situation, to enjoy each other’s company, helping to eliminate the loneliness and frustration that can set in when diagnosed.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark said it’s fantastic to see the Lodge throw its support behind two very worthy causes.

“I congratulate Hinchinbrook Cordelia Lodge for taking an interest in their community, particularly those in need,” Gary said.

“Hand Heart Pocket recognises the initiative taken by this Lodge to assist these organisations to continue to make a difference in their community,” he said.  

Photo: Hinchinbrook Cordelia Lodge members Ken Robson and Cliff Blain present President of the Lower Herbert Blue Light Association Snr Constable Shelley Milns with a cheque from recent fundraising efforts. 

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

Hand Heart Pocket is set to launch a Pilot Champion Program which is designed to provide on the ground peer support to Lodges for Hand Heart Pocket services and programs. 

The pilot program was developed as part of a workshop held in March with a small group of members who had previously been appointed as Hand Heart Pocket Ambassadors. 

“We decided to redefine the previous Ambassador role to make it a more practical and defined volunteer role.  The program is expected to evolve over the next year during which time we can better understand its value and how we can best support these volunteers to champion our activities and to help us provide support to our members,” said Hand Heart Pocket CEO, Gary Mark.

The program will be piloted for at least a year with the role being discussed in each area at the Hand Heart Pocket Information Sessions currently being held across the state. 

Our target is to have 15 to 20 officially appointed volunteers, geographically disbursed throughout the state, to champion Hand Heart Pocket activities.  At the information sessions I am holding, I will be discussing this Champion role, it’s practicality in the area and working with the Lodges to identify an appropriate member to Champion our activities,” said Gary.

Along with championing Hand Heart Pocket activities and fundraising appeals, the role is designed to have a dedicated person that can guide lodges in their area with running compliant fundraising activities and to ensure they are aware of the support and services available to them from Hand Heart Pocket.

“We hope that this Champion role will help us to better support the charity work of Lodges throughout the state,” said Gary.  

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket’s first Champion workshop held in March (from left): Adam Brighouse, Luke Roberts, Gary Mark (CEO, Hand Heart Pocket), Rob Qualtrough (Executive Officer Commercial and Company Secretary), David Roberts and Jason Brummell.

Find out how you can volunteer with Hand Heart Pocket

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. 

More young Queenslanders with high care needs are set to get the support they need, to stay at home and out of inappropriate housing after Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland today announced its renewed support to the tune of $150,000 for the 2017 round of Youngcare’s At Home Care Grants (AHCG) program.   

The grants provide one-off funding between $2,000 and $10,000 for equipment, home modifications and emergency respite for young people aged 18-65, who are at risk of entering inappropriate housing such as aged care, allowing them to remain at home with their families, for as long as possible.

Youngcare Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Ryan, said that the additional funding would assist Youngcare to deliver on its mission to ensure young people regardless of their care needs lead young lives with greater choice, dignity and independence.

Too many young Australians with high care needs are being left behind. These young people deserve the freedom to choose how they live their lives— and it’s up to all of us to make sure that happens,” Anthony said.

 In 2016, $250,000 was awarded to 44 Queensland families, enabling them to keep their loved ones at home and Hand Heart Pocket’s donation of $150,000 directly benefited 30 of those families.  “Yet, the reality is that a total of 87 people applied for grants with a value of almost $640,000, meaning that 43 people missed out, simply due to a lack of funding” he said

“With the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) the disability sector is seeing positive change and Youngcare is excited by the opportunity to scale up the options available to young people.  While working with the NDIS we continue to deliver our grants which are so vital to ensure that families are getting the support they need.  The renewed partnership with Hand Heart Pocket will enable us to again help more young people with high care needs to live the young lives we all deserve.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said that upon hearing the plight of these families who were often physically, emotionally and financially drained, Hand Heart Pocket was compelled to do more.

“Last year following our initial donation of $150,000, Hand Heart Pocket had the privilege of sitting on the panel alongside other donors, disability academics, health professionals and Youngcare staff who shortlisted and awarded the AHCG Queensland round,” Gary said.

“We came away with a great sense of pride, because we could see the difference our support would make, yet the number of families missing out on grants left us wanting to do more. We are delighted that Youngcare has once again accepted our support this year. May our combined efforts make a significant difference for more young Queenslanders with high care needs,” he said. 

Watch footage of the official cheque handover.  

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark (centre) hands over a cheque for $150K to Youngcare Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Ryan (centre right), with the Hand Heart Pocket Champions (far right) and members of Ionic Prudence Lodge standing alongside (far left). 

The state’s largest drop in and support centre for the homeless, 139 Club, is set to extend services from five to seven days a week, as part of a 12-month pilot program thanks to a $340,000 donation from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Announced this morning in Fortitude Valley at a morning tea with some of the centre’s clients, the donation will fund a pilot program that is expected to allow 139 Club to build on their efforts to provide better outcomes for the homeless.  

139 Club Chief Executive Officer, Sara Harrup, said that the donation will make all the difference to their clients and support a broader strategy to make a long term, visible impact on homelessness in the river city through the expansion of services and innovative support.   

“Homelessness is a daily struggle that doesn’t go away on the weekends. Being open seven days will enable us to provide more continuity of support and reach those we may not reach on other days – meaning those sleeping rough in Brisbane will no longer be left to get by on their own over the weekend,” Sarah said.

“139 Club has always been a home for the day for those without one and our ethos is to build resilience and promote dignity, increasing people’s capacity to sustain a better life in the long term, with support to find suitable accommodation,” she said.  

From October, 139 Club will be able to provide essential services such as meals, showers, laundry facilities, day beds, and medical attention on Saturdays and Sundays as well as a scaled back version of individual case support for emergency situations. An increased focus on social inclusion such as leisure activities will also be implemented on weekends.

“We’re very hopeful that this 12-month pilot program will provide us with the opportunity to secure longer-term funding to have a lasting impact on Brisbane’s homeless,” Sara said.

Those doing it tough agree. Angelo lives on the streets and is a frequent visitor at 139 Club.  “Opening on the weekends will be like gold.  It will help a lot of people - they are going hungry on the weekends. Now there will be a safe place to come, to get food, rest and friendship.”

Grace, another person doing it tough, agrees. “It’s a really great thing. It will help so much. I’ve just got out of a violent relationship and at 139 Club you feel safe - it’s somewhere to talk to other people and feel ok.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said that maximising the efforts of organisations that are at the coal face was central to the decision to provide funding to 139 Club.  

“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.

“Hand Heart Pocket is proud to support 139 Club, an organisation that is on our doorstep here in Fortitude Valley. This initiative has the potential to make a tangible difference for those impacted by homelessness in Brisbane and beyond,” Gary said. 

Watch footage of the official cheque handover. 

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark hands over a cheque for $340K to 139 Club Chief Executive Officer, Sara Harrup with Hand Heart Pocket Champions standing alongside.  

For over 20 years Cittamani Hospice Service on the Sunshine Coast has provided in-home palliative care support to over 3000 terminally ill patients and their families.

Today there is a growing need for their services in the region prompting the local Masonic Lodge to lend a hand.

Waverley-Palmwoods Lodge with the support of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, recently handed over two alternating air-mattresses which will add to the catalogue of specialised and essential equipment that the organisation loans out to families, including hospital beds, wheelchairs, commodes and more.

Lodge Secretary, Bill Niven said that making a difference on a local level has always been important to the Lodge.

“To think, that, this will help Cittamani provide comfort to more terminally ill people is so worthwhile in our eyes,” Bill said.

“Last year, we donated three wheelchairs and were keen to offer more support, particularly seeing as Cittamani provides its services free of charge, right from palliative care nurses, social and pastoral care workers, volunteers, through to bereavement support,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark praised Waverley-Palmwoods Lodge for standing by the local initiative.

“Showing compassion to those who are terminally ill and their families is something that Hand Heart Pocket can identify with, giving us every reason to match Waverley-Palmwoods Lodge’s donation,” Gary said.

“Our purpose is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes through engagement with communities and this is a shining example of what can be achieved when we work together,” he said.

Photo: (from back) Waverley-Palmwoods Lodge representatives Graeme McIntyre, Brad Imberger and David Ledger with (from front) Cittamani’s Jo Newman, Sue Hart from Bunnings and Lodge Secretary Bill Niven.  

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket

 

Toowoomba’s Sunrise Way Rehabilitation Centre which is home to those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction has been given a hand up from Darling Downs Masonic Lodge.

Lodge Secretary, Ken Stephen said the new laptop, which the Lodge donated, with the help of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, would support residents in their rehabilitation, improving their quality of life.

“It’s been fantastic to be able to provide this on-going support to Sunrise Way,” Ken said.

“Earlier in the year the Lodge, through their own funds, donated a projector and projector screen, so all these additional resources will assist in making the rehabilitation program more engaging and effective. The new resources are currently being used during group psychosocial education and individual counselling,” he said.

“Similarly, late last year, the Lodge donated a commercial dishwasher with Hand Heart Pocket’s assistance, ensuring residents have the facilities to wash up after preparing and cooking their own meals.”

“Without the presence of Sunrise Way in our community many people would be worse off, so we’re very supportive of their work, “Ken said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, commended Darling Downs Lodge for getting behind a local organisation that’s providing an invaluable service to the Toowoomba region and beyond.

“Hand Heart Pocket’s purpose is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes, so we were quite happy to match the charitable efforts of Darling Downs Masonic Lodge to support Sunrise Way to rebuild lives,” Gary said. 

Photo: Darling Downs Masonic Lodge representatives Ian Parry, Maurice Howell and Ken Stephen present the new laptop to Sunrise Way with Kristi standing alongside. 

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket

Kianawah Masonic Lodge with the assistance of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has donated $2000 to Brisbane charity, Community Friends.

The organisation which provides everything from food, clothing, sheets, blankets and other basic essentials for the homeless and disadvantaged, said the funds will be ‘a big help’, allowing them to purchase a months’ worth of food for their West End Food Stall.

Held every Wednesday afternoon at 4pm, the stall attracts around 150 needy people, with everything given away for free.

Kianawah Lodge Almoner, Bob Clark said it was impressive to see Community Friends founder and fellow Freemason, Mark McDonnell, and his band of volunteers hard at work, providing for those less fortunate.

“What Mark has achieved in the last few years is amazing, especially as they don’t receive any government funding. If Community Friends didn’t provide this service hundreds of people would go without,” Bob said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark praised Kianawah Lodge for rallying behind this initiative which will change lives for the better.

“Kianawah Lodge has devoted many of their weekends to raising these funds, knowing that every dollar will go towards making a difference for those less fortunate,” Gary said.  

“Support of the homeless and disadvantaged is very much in line with Hand Heart Pocket’s purpose which is about empowering, supporting and enabling humanity in an ever-changing world,” Gary said. 

Photo: Mark McDonnell from Community Friends (front left) accepts a cheque for $2000 from Kianawah Lodge Almoner Bob Clark (front right)

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

Some of Hinchinbrook Shire’s youngest and oldest residents have been touched by the generosity of their local Masonic Lodge, Hinchinbrook Cordelia Lodge.

In conjunction with a Dollar for Dollar Subsidy from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, Hinchinbrook Cordelia Lodge has donated $400 to the Lower Herbert Blue Light Association and $750 to Café Connect, a local outreach service of Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld).

Lodge Worshipful Master, Cliff Blain said essential services provided by the two organisations would be enhanced with these funds.

“Our contribution is in recognition of all those working towards making our community an inclusive one,” he said.

“One supports our youth by providing a variety of activities in a drug and alcohol free environment. The other enables people with Alzheimer’s and their carers to meet those in a similar situation, to enjoy each other’s company, helping to eliminate the loneliness and frustration that can set in when diagnosed.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark said it’s fantastic to see the Lodge throw its support behind two very worthy causes.

“I congratulate Hinchinbrook Cordelia Lodge for taking an interest in their community, particularly those in need,” Gary said.

“Hand Heart Pocket recognises the initiative taken by this Lodge to assist these organisations to continue to make a difference in their community,” he said.  

Photo: Hinchinbrook Cordelia Lodge members Ken Robson and Cliff Blain present President of the Lower Herbert Blue Light Association Snr Constable Shelley Milns with a cheque from recent fundraising efforts. 

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

Hand Heart Pocket is set to launch a Pilot Champion Program which is designed to provide on the ground peer support to Lodges for Hand Heart Pocket services and programs. 

The pilot program was developed as part of a workshop held in March with a small group of members who had previously been appointed as Hand Heart Pocket Ambassadors. 

“We decided to redefine the previous Ambassador role to make it a more practical and defined volunteer role.  The program is expected to evolve over the next year during which time we can better understand its value and how we can best support these volunteers to champion our activities and to help us provide support to our members,” said Hand Heart Pocket CEO, Gary Mark.

The program will be piloted for at least a year with the role being discussed in each area at the Hand Heart Pocket Information Sessions currently being held across the state. 

Our target is to have 15 to 20 officially appointed volunteers, geographically disbursed throughout the state, to champion Hand Heart Pocket activities.  At the information sessions I am holding, I will be discussing this Champion role, it’s practicality in the area and working with the Lodges to identify an appropriate member to Champion our activities,” said Gary.

Along with championing Hand Heart Pocket activities and fundraising appeals, the role is designed to have a dedicated person that can guide lodges in their area with running compliant fundraising activities and to ensure they are aware of the support and services available to them from Hand Heart Pocket.

“We hope that this Champion role will help us to better support the charity work of Lodges throughout the state,” said Gary.  

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket’s first Champion workshop held in March (from left): Adam Brighouse, Luke Roberts, Gary Mark (CEO, Hand Heart Pocket), Rob Qualtrough (Executive Officer Commercial and Company Secretary), David Roberts and Jason Brummell.

Find out how you can volunteer with Hand Heart Pocket

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. 

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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.