YOU might wonder what wrapping Christmas presents has to do with the latest technology surgical equipment.
Wonder no longer, as this year funds donated at the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s annual Christmas Wrap, will go towards the surgical microscope project.
Christmas Wrap at Cairns Central started earlier this month, with more than 140 volunteers registered to fill 404 shifts and wrap up to 10,000 presents with a wide variety of paper to choose from.
Foundation fundraising and event co-ordinator Gaby Thomasz said they were noticing the community was becoming increasingly generous to the local charity.
“Each year, the funds raised from this fun event is increasing so it’s lovely to see the community recognising their donations stay local AND help improve health services,” Ms Thomasz said.
“Volunteers are true wrapping artists and have a huge selection of wrapping paper to choose from. We’re only asking for a small donation towards our cause, so we expect our volunteers to be very busy again this year,” Ms Thomasz said.
Some volunteers use the event as a team-building exercise in their workplace while others volunteer with their family. There are even volunteers who have moved away, but every year when they come “home” for Christmas, they volunteer at Christmas Wrap.
Cairns Hospital Intensive Care, Women’s and Perioperative Director Susan Henderson and Cairns Hospital Theatre Nurse Unit Manager Helen Campbell were delighted to meet the hard working volunteers on shift today.
The Foundation is actively fundraising for a new surgical microscope to assist reconstructive and orthopaedic surgery.
“So far I believe about $100,000 has been raised from private donations and fundraising activities like Melbourne Cup, but we still need another $300,000,” Ms Henderson said.
Surgeons have asked for the latest German technology microscope to enable them to see the tiniest blood vessels in high definition.
“When our surgeons are transplanting tissue from one part of the body to another, the microscope will show them if blood is flowing through the transplanted tissue, which means they know before they finish the surgery, if it’s going to be successful,” Ms Henderson said.
It will be used on patients – adults and children suffering from accidents, which happens daily, as well as on cancer patients.
Funds raised from events such as Christmas Wrap have previously contributed towards the brainlab orthopaedic surgery equipment, paediatric playground, education, training and research grants and the second cardiac catheter laboratory.
“Every cent we receive through donations stays local and every cent goes to its intended cause because all our administrative costs are covered by our commercial operations,” Ms Thomasz said. “Since the Foundation’s inception 21 years ago, we have contributed more than $18 million to improving health care in the Far North, and events such as this really do make a difference to patient outcomes,” Ms Thomasz said.
“Cairns Central is delighted to continue to partner with the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation for the annual charity Christmas gift wrap, which has been going for more than 15 years. We are truly overwhelmed by the generosity of the community, giving up their own time to help such a worthy local fundraiser,” Cairns Central Centre Manager Christie-Lee Jackson said.
Photos: TOP: Cairns Hospital Intensive Care, Women’s and Perioperative Director Susan Henderson and Cairns Hospital Theatre Nurse Unit Manager Helen Campbell join with the Foundation's fundraising and event coordinator Gaby Thomasz at Christmas Wrap.
ABOVE: Customer Matt Elliott happily makes another donation while Cairns Hospital theatre Nurse Unit Manager Helen Campbell wraps his gifts.
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