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.
15 December 2016