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News & Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about the COUCH Wellbeing Centre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

With Christmas just over a week away, Freemasons across Queensland are being urged to keep the momentum going in support of the Hand Heart Pocket 2016 Christmas Appeal to ensure it exceeds its fundraising target of $50,000 for disadvantaged students.

Launched on November 1, over $45,000 has already been raised including the Hand Heart Pocket Dollar for Dollar Subsidy.

Funds raised through the Appeal will benefit the Joyful Foundation Inc., a Townsville based Masonic initiative which supports disadvantaged primary school students in North Queensland to reach their full potential –  providing access to basic essentials like stationery packs, uniforms and costs for extra-curricular activities and excursions which they might normally go without.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland Chairman, Tom Wiltshire, said considering the current economic situation in North Queensland, every extra dollar raised will make a difference.  

 “The people of North Queensland are really hurting at the moment and we have a unique opportunity to support a Masonic initiative that is making a difference locally,” Tom said.

“No child should dread going to school because their family cannot afford new books, uniforms or basic equipment to learn,” he said.  

“I urge Masonic Lodges to continue raising funds for the Hand Heart Pocket 2016 Christmas Appeal over the festive period and help ensure 2017 gets off to a good start for these students. All donations made by Lodges will be matched dollar for dollar, with no limits to be applied,” Tom said.

Similarly, Joyful Foundation Founder and Freemason Ron Donnellan said he was blown away by the support and is quietly confident more funds will continue to come in over Christmas.

“Currently, the Joyful Foundation is active in 44 primary schools in North Queensland. Many of the students we support come from hardworking families and may not receive government assistance,” Ron said.

“If we reach the $50,000 target set for the Hand Heart Pocket 2016 Christmas Appeal, that will enable us to increase our capacity to help disadvantaged students in the region by 50%. Exceeding that target will allow us to do even more, so I urge Masonic Lodges throughout Queensland to dig deep.”

“Thank you to all those who have supported the Joyful Foundation through the Hand Heart Pocket 2016 Christmas Appeal. You are helping change the course North Queensland by investing in its future,” he said.

The Joyful Foundation was set up in memory of Ron’s late Daughter, Joy Donnellan, a Townsville Teacher, Guidance Officer and registered Psychologist who believed every student had potential regardless of their financial situation at home.

Help us exceed our target of $50,000 for disadvantaged students by donating today! 

The Queensland Lodge in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, has donated $5000 to the Ipswich Women’s Shelter Against Domestic Violence.

The donation which included a Hand Heart Pocket Dollar for Dollar Subsidy, will allow the Manager of the Shelter to purchase essential items for the women when they first arrive.

Lodge representative Ian De Villiers said hearing that many of these women and their children turn up with just the clothes on their backs and often with very little funds was heart-breaking.

“The Queensland Lodge is immensely proud to be able to support a local organisation that empowers women to rebuild their lives,” Ian said.

“We would especially like to thank Ipswich businesses for their on-going support and for enabling us to support such a worthy cause that is changing lives,” Ian said.   

Last year 64 women and 90 children stayed at the Ipswich Women’s Shelter Against Domestic Violence. Their average stay was 34 nights.

Photo: Catherine Johns from the Ipswich Women’s Shelter Against Domestic Violence with Ian De Villiers from the Queensland Lodge.

Find out more about who Hand Heart Pocket supports.

A palliative care support group that provides a range of services to help keep elderly and terminally ill patients in Logan and Beaudesert comfortable has been given a financial boost.

Southern Queensland Lodge, having secured a Dollar for Dollar Subsidy through Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, has donated $3000 to Palliative Aid for Logan Services Inc. (PALS).

Lodge Secretary Wayne Bell said the donation, in the first instance, will allow PALS to hire and provide a range of essential equipment such as shower chairs, special support mattresses, walking aids and wheel chairs for elderly or terminally ill patients aged over 50 receiving care at home, in hospital or in a nursing home.

PALS will also be able to help pay a portion of patients’ utility bills, costs for transport to the hospital and medication where required.

“Southern Queensland Lodge’s support of PALS dates back many years,” Wayne said.

“Giving back to the community is what Freemasonry is all about so we’re very happy to assist a local organisation that is run completely by volunteers – and punching above their weight might I add.”

“We can only imagine how tough it must be to receive a terminal diagnosis and how helpless families must feel, so we are prepared to do all we can for PALS who are striving to alleviate the load on these families,” he said.

Photo: Southern Queensland Lodge's Keith Mallitt with Dorothy Murphy from Palliative Aid for Logan Services Inc. (PALS). 

Find out more about who Hand Heart Pocket supports.

As boaties and holidays-makers take to the seas over the Summer, Volunteer Marine Rescue groups around the State will be ready to lend a hand. 

The North Stradbroke Island Volunteer Marine Rescue received a generous donation from the local Myora Masonic Lodge earlier this year.

With the support of Hand Heart Pocket, Myora Lodge contributed towards the installation of a new purpose-built cabinet to house the squadron’s base radio equipment. 

Lodge Secretary Roger Brady said they were proud to assist a local organisation that works tirelessly to keep people safe and are sometimes the first to respond in times of crisis out on the water. 

Photo: President of the North Stradbroke Island Volunteer Marine Rescue, Gordon McInnes and Myora Lodge Secretary Roger Brady. 

Find out more about other disaster relief initiatives to have benefited from a Hand Heart Pocket Dollar for Dollar subsidy.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about the COUCH Wellbeing Centre

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

With Christmas just over a week away, Freemasons across Queensland are being urged to keep the momentum going in support of the Hand Heart Pocket 2016 Christmas Appeal to ensure it exceeds its fundraising target of $50,000 for disadvantaged students.

Launched on November 1, over $45,000 has already been raised including the Hand Heart Pocket Dollar for Dollar Subsidy.

Funds raised through the Appeal will benefit the Joyful Foundation Inc., a Townsville based Masonic initiative which supports disadvantaged primary school students in North Queensland to reach their full potential –  providing access to basic essentials like stationery packs, uniforms and costs for extra-curricular activities and excursions which they might normally go without.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland Chairman, Tom Wiltshire, said considering the current economic situation in North Queensland, every extra dollar raised will make a difference.  

 “The people of North Queensland are really hurting at the moment and we have a unique opportunity to support a Masonic initiative that is making a difference locally,” Tom said.

“No child should dread going to school because their family cannot afford new books, uniforms or basic equipment to learn,” he said.  

“I urge Masonic Lodges to continue raising funds for the Hand Heart Pocket 2016 Christmas Appeal over the festive period and help ensure 2017 gets off to a good start for these students. All donations made by Lodges will be matched dollar for dollar, with no limits to be applied,” Tom said.

Similarly, Joyful Foundation Founder and Freemason Ron Donnellan said he was blown away by the support and is quietly confident more funds will continue to come in over Christmas.

“Currently, the Joyful Foundation is active in 44 primary schools in North Queensland. Many of the students we support come from hardworking families and may not receive government assistance,” Ron said.

“If we reach the $50,000 target set for the Hand Heart Pocket 2016 Christmas Appeal, that will enable us to increase our capacity to help disadvantaged students in the region by 50%. Exceeding that target will allow us to do even more, so I urge Masonic Lodges throughout Queensland to dig deep.”

“Thank you to all those who have supported the Joyful Foundation through the Hand Heart Pocket 2016 Christmas Appeal. You are helping change the course North Queensland by investing in its future,” he said.

The Joyful Foundation was set up in memory of Ron’s late Daughter, Joy Donnellan, a Townsville Teacher, Guidance Officer and registered Psychologist who believed every student had potential regardless of their financial situation at home.

Help us exceed our target of $50,000 for disadvantaged students by donating today! 

The Queensland Lodge in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, has donated $5000 to the Ipswich Women’s Shelter Against Domestic Violence.

The donation which included a Hand Heart Pocket Dollar for Dollar Subsidy, will allow the Manager of the Shelter to purchase essential items for the women when they first arrive.

Lodge representative Ian De Villiers said hearing that many of these women and their children turn up with just the clothes on their backs and often with very little funds was heart-breaking.

“The Queensland Lodge is immensely proud to be able to support a local organisation that empowers women to rebuild their lives,” Ian said.

“We would especially like to thank Ipswich businesses for their on-going support and for enabling us to support such a worthy cause that is changing lives,” Ian said.   

Last year 64 women and 90 children stayed at the Ipswich Women’s Shelter Against Domestic Violence. Their average stay was 34 nights.

Photo: Catherine Johns from the Ipswich Women’s Shelter Against Domestic Violence with Ian De Villiers from the Queensland Lodge.

Find out more about who Hand Heart Pocket supports.

A palliative care support group that provides a range of services to help keep elderly and terminally ill patients in Logan and Beaudesert comfortable has been given a financial boost.

Southern Queensland Lodge, having secured a Dollar for Dollar Subsidy through Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, has donated $3000 to Palliative Aid for Logan Services Inc. (PALS).

Lodge Secretary Wayne Bell said the donation, in the first instance, will allow PALS to hire and provide a range of essential equipment such as shower chairs, special support mattresses, walking aids and wheel chairs for elderly or terminally ill patients aged over 50 receiving care at home, in hospital or in a nursing home.

PALS will also be able to help pay a portion of patients’ utility bills, costs for transport to the hospital and medication where required.

“Southern Queensland Lodge’s support of PALS dates back many years,” Wayne said.

“Giving back to the community is what Freemasonry is all about so we’re very happy to assist a local organisation that is run completely by volunteers – and punching above their weight might I add.”

“We can only imagine how tough it must be to receive a terminal diagnosis and how helpless families must feel, so we are prepared to do all we can for PALS who are striving to alleviate the load on these families,” he said.

Photo: Southern Queensland Lodge's Keith Mallitt with Dorothy Murphy from Palliative Aid for Logan Services Inc. (PALS). 

Find out more about who Hand Heart Pocket supports.

As boaties and holidays-makers take to the seas over the Summer, Volunteer Marine Rescue groups around the State will be ready to lend a hand. 

The North Stradbroke Island Volunteer Marine Rescue received a generous donation from the local Myora Masonic Lodge earlier this year.

With the support of Hand Heart Pocket, Myora Lodge contributed towards the installation of a new purpose-built cabinet to house the squadron’s base radio equipment. 

Lodge Secretary Roger Brady said they were proud to assist a local organisation that works tirelessly to keep people safe and are sometimes the first to respond in times of crisis out on the water. 

Photo: President of the North Stradbroke Island Volunteer Marine Rescue, Gordon McInnes and Myora Lodge Secretary Roger Brady. 

Find out more about other disaster relief initiatives to have benefited from a Hand Heart Pocket Dollar for Dollar subsidy.