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Meals on Wheels Bundaberg has been empowered to continue doing what it does best – providing good food and friendship to those who need it, with the local Freemasons picking up the bill for an essential piece of office equipment.

Tyrian Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket donated $3,000 for a new printer, to give the local service a hand up – as the organisation’s running costs soar.

Lodge Secretary John Richardson said their support of the service, which delivers around 656 meals each week, dates back many years and for good reason.

“It’s a huge achievement, when you think that the Bundaberg Meals on Wheels have been active for over half a century – missing only one day in all that time, when the region was flooded in 2013,” John said.

“Their resilience and what they do for the most vulnerable in our community must never be taken for granted – hence our latest donation which allows them to focus on their core mission.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark commended Tyrian Lodge for being in touch with the needs of the local community.

“Tyrian Lodge’s attentiveness has seen them provide assistance to a vital community service in a timely fashion,” Gary said.

“Hand Heart Pocket’s purpose is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes by supporting charities, individuals and community groups with limited sources of funding, so this was the right fit.”

“We are delighted to have given Meals on Wheels Bundaberg a helping hand so that they can continue to empower others in the region to lead better lives,” he said. 

Photo: Tyrian Lodge representatives Dave Smith and Mal Finnis with Meals on Wheels Bundaberg Office Assistant Lyndel Woodward as they check out the new printer.

Find out how to start a fundraiser

Children with hearing difficulties have been empowered to reach their full potential after Enoggera Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket teamed up to support Hear and Say.

The $2000 donation will go towards their Early Intervention Program, to help fund vital assessment kits to monitor the speech and listening development of children undergoing Listening and Spoken Language Therapy.

Enoggera Masonic Lodge Secretary, Neville Dacey said the Early Intervention Program was on the Lodge’s radar because the granddaughter of a fellow member had come such a long way because of it.

“Through the support of Hear and Say, Audrey, who was born profoundly deaf, at three-years-old had the vocal skills of a five-year-old,” Neville said.

“With the right support, at the right time, children with impaired hearing can lead a normal life and have the same opportunities in life as everyone else.” 

“Her (Audrey’s) quality of life has improved vastly and she will be ready for mainstream school when the time comes,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark applauded Enoggera Lodge for giving Hear and Say a hand up, to continue delivering essential services and programs that change lives.

“To stand by these children over many years, providing therapy to give them a voice and the gift of sound, aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about empowering people to lead better lives,” Gary said.

“This is why we were so keen to support Enoggera Lodge with their charity work,” he said. 

Photo: Margaret Dacey, Enoggera Masonic Lodge Secretary Neville Dacey, Hear and Say’s Director of Sustainability and Strategic Relations Amanda Mather, Enoggera Masonic Lodge’s Gary Golding and Fran Golding. 

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket

Bundaberg Special School has had a very special delivery this week, after months of campaigning to raise funds for a new wheelchair-accessible school bus.

A donation from the Freemasons in the Wide Bay region and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland proved to be the last piece of the puzzle in what has been a huge community effort, to ensure the school is able to continue transporting wheelchair-bound students to and from excursions.

Continuity Masonic Lodge Secretary, Allan Williams said the Lodge initially donated $2,000 with the help of Hand Heart Pocket, before nominating the school for a grant, for the gap of $13,000 for the bus.

“Continuity Masonic Lodge is very proud to have been part of this community effort to ensure no student misses out on the opportunity to take part in school excursions – which is just as important as what you learn in the classroom,” Allan said.

“We’re thrilled, that on top of matching our contribution, Hand Heart Pocket covered the $13,000 gap so that the School could reach its $76,000 fundraising target sooner,” he said.

The campaign was initiated by the Bundaberg NewsMail last August, after the old school bus could no longer be covered by insurance. In the interim, teachers had to transport the 17 wheelchair-bound students to and from trips by taxi. The modified new Toyota Hiace will be able to transport two wheelchair-bound students at a time.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, thanked Continuity Lodge for bringing the cause to the organisation’s attention.

“It has been our pleasure to support Bundaberg Special School with this important initiative. I congratulate Continuity Lodge for their contribution also,” he said.

“Our purpose is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes and empowering wheelchair-bound students to participate fully in the school curriculum supports that.”

“The bus is a symbol of inclusivity, and we hope that these excursions inspire and broaden students’ minds about the world around them,” he said.

Find out who we help

Photo: Members of Continuity Masonic Lodge alongside other community groups that supported Bundaberg Special School’s campaign for a new wheelchair-accessible school bus.

A Brisbane family has been given a hand up, to help purchase a Smart Pup Assistance Dog to improve the quality of life of their Autistic son.

The Queensland Masonic Touring Club and Hand Heart Pocket, collectively contributed $6000 towards the purchase of the specially trained canine, who is expected to help reduce the teenager’s stress levels and anxiety – having a positive impact on the entire family.

Club Secretary, Glenice Allman said the Club wanted to help the family who had been trying to raise the funds themselves.

“We’re really pleased to have been able to assist. Smart Pups have this wonderful calming presence and we’re very hopeful that Rainer’s new furry friend will improve and enrich his life each day.” Glenice said.

“It will give Rainer the chance to spend more time outdoors and help him adjust to different social situations over time and perhaps make some new friends along the way,” she said.

The family will receive the smart pup within the year, after it has been fully trained and successfully completes home placement sessions.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark gave the Queensland Masonic Touring Club a big thumbs up for this initiative.

“The Queensland Masonic Touring Club has been the catalyst in all of this. Their drive is very admirable,” Gary said.

“Hand Heart Pocket stepped in to help the Club with their fundraising because we believe in empowering people to lead better lives. We can see that this initiative would be life-changing for Rainer and his family,” Gary said.

Find out how to start a fundraiser

Photo: Members of the Queensland Masonic Touring Club Roy and Ann Fursman, Ann Shaw, Rosemary and Tom Schwabe, Bev and Reay Pool with Rainer and his family.  

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.

 

 

 

Meals on Wheels Bundaberg has been empowered to continue doing what it does best – providing good food and friendship to those who need it, with the local Freemasons picking up the bill for an essential piece of office equipment.

Tyrian Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket donated $3,000 for a new printer, to give the local service a hand up – as the organisation’s running costs soar.

Lodge Secretary John Richardson said their support of the service, which delivers around 656 meals each week, dates back many years and for good reason.

“It’s a huge achievement, when you think that the Bundaberg Meals on Wheels have been active for over half a century – missing only one day in all that time, when the region was flooded in 2013,” John said.

“Their resilience and what they do for the most vulnerable in our community must never be taken for granted – hence our latest donation which allows them to focus on their core mission.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark commended Tyrian Lodge for being in touch with the needs of the local community.

“Tyrian Lodge’s attentiveness has seen them provide assistance to a vital community service in a timely fashion,” Gary said.

“Hand Heart Pocket’s purpose is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes by supporting charities, individuals and community groups with limited sources of funding, so this was the right fit.”

“We are delighted to have given Meals on Wheels Bundaberg a helping hand so that they can continue to empower others in the region to lead better lives,” he said. 

Photo: Tyrian Lodge representatives Dave Smith and Mal Finnis with Meals on Wheels Bundaberg Office Assistant Lyndel Woodward as they check out the new printer.

Find out how to start a fundraiser

Children with hearing difficulties have been empowered to reach their full potential after Enoggera Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket teamed up to support Hear and Say.

The $2000 donation will go towards their Early Intervention Program, to help fund vital assessment kits to monitor the speech and listening development of children undergoing Listening and Spoken Language Therapy.

Enoggera Masonic Lodge Secretary, Neville Dacey said the Early Intervention Program was on the Lodge’s radar because the granddaughter of a fellow member had come such a long way because of it.

“Through the support of Hear and Say, Audrey, who was born profoundly deaf, at three-years-old had the vocal skills of a five-year-old,” Neville said.

“With the right support, at the right time, children with impaired hearing can lead a normal life and have the same opportunities in life as everyone else.” 

“Her (Audrey’s) quality of life has improved vastly and she will be ready for mainstream school when the time comes,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark applauded Enoggera Lodge for giving Hear and Say a hand up, to continue delivering essential services and programs that change lives.

“To stand by these children over many years, providing therapy to give them a voice and the gift of sound, aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about empowering people to lead better lives,” Gary said.

“This is why we were so keen to support Enoggera Lodge with their charity work,” he said. 

Photo: Margaret Dacey, Enoggera Masonic Lodge Secretary Neville Dacey, Hear and Say’s Director of Sustainability and Strategic Relations Amanda Mather, Enoggera Masonic Lodge’s Gary Golding and Fran Golding. 

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket

Bundaberg Special School has had a very special delivery this week, after months of campaigning to raise funds for a new wheelchair-accessible school bus.

A donation from the Freemasons in the Wide Bay region and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland proved to be the last piece of the puzzle in what has been a huge community effort, to ensure the school is able to continue transporting wheelchair-bound students to and from excursions.

Continuity Masonic Lodge Secretary, Allan Williams said the Lodge initially donated $2,000 with the help of Hand Heart Pocket, before nominating the school for a grant, for the gap of $13,000 for the bus.

“Continuity Masonic Lodge is very proud to have been part of this community effort to ensure no student misses out on the opportunity to take part in school excursions – which is just as important as what you learn in the classroom,” Allan said.

“We’re thrilled, that on top of matching our contribution, Hand Heart Pocket covered the $13,000 gap so that the School could reach its $76,000 fundraising target sooner,” he said.

The campaign was initiated by the Bundaberg NewsMail last August, after the old school bus could no longer be covered by insurance. In the interim, teachers had to transport the 17 wheelchair-bound students to and from trips by taxi. The modified new Toyota Hiace will be able to transport two wheelchair-bound students at a time.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, thanked Continuity Lodge for bringing the cause to the organisation’s attention.

“It has been our pleasure to support Bundaberg Special School with this important initiative. I congratulate Continuity Lodge for their contribution also,” he said.

“Our purpose is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes and empowering wheelchair-bound students to participate fully in the school curriculum supports that.”

“The bus is a symbol of inclusivity, and we hope that these excursions inspire and broaden students’ minds about the world around them,” he said.

Find out who we help

Photo: Members of Continuity Masonic Lodge alongside other community groups that supported Bundaberg Special School’s campaign for a new wheelchair-accessible school bus.

A Brisbane family has been given a hand up, to help purchase a Smart Pup Assistance Dog to improve the quality of life of their Autistic son.

The Queensland Masonic Touring Club and Hand Heart Pocket, collectively contributed $6000 towards the purchase of the specially trained canine, who is expected to help reduce the teenager’s stress levels and anxiety – having a positive impact on the entire family.

Club Secretary, Glenice Allman said the Club wanted to help the family who had been trying to raise the funds themselves.

“We’re really pleased to have been able to assist. Smart Pups have this wonderful calming presence and we’re very hopeful that Rainer’s new furry friend will improve and enrich his life each day.” Glenice said.

“It will give Rainer the chance to spend more time outdoors and help him adjust to different social situations over time and perhaps make some new friends along the way,” she said.

The family will receive the smart pup within the year, after it has been fully trained and successfully completes home placement sessions.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark gave the Queensland Masonic Touring Club a big thumbs up for this initiative.

“The Queensland Masonic Touring Club has been the catalyst in all of this. Their drive is very admirable,” Gary said.

“Hand Heart Pocket stepped in to help the Club with their fundraising because we believe in empowering people to lead better lives. We can see that this initiative would be life-changing for Rainer and his family,” Gary said.

Find out how to start a fundraiser

Photo: Members of the Queensland Masonic Touring Club Roy and Ann Fursman, Ann Shaw, Rosemary and Tom Schwabe, Bev and Reay Pool with Rainer and his family.  

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. 

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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.