FIVE thousand metres of wrapping paper, almost 500 volunteers working more than 470 shifts, and a TONNE of wrapped presents.
But the best number is the amount of money raised, which is almost $20,000.
That’s what the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation’s Christmas Wrap will hopefully raise for health services this Christmas.
Cairns Central centre manager Christie-lee Jackson said Christmas gift wrapping was an important part of the calendar at Cairns Central every year.
“It’s a time for giving, and giving back to the community and we are very grateful to our volunteers who wrap thousands of gifts each year raising money for the Foundation. Last year, the Cairns community generously donated over $20,000 towards the Foundation,” she said.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz it was impossible to know how many presents were wrapped, but volunteers were often approached by people with whole trolleys filled with gifts to be wrapped.
“In the month leading up to Christmas we have 476 volunteers working hard wrapping thousands of presents for a gold coin donation to us,” Mr Franz said.
“We’ve had some volunteers doing this for 10 years or more – we even have one woman who has been doing it since high school, but she’s now in the workforce in Canberra and still returns to do the Christmas Wrap,” he said.
“We often have people give us a $50 donation which is lovely but all we ask for is a gold coin donation.
“We know it’s a really busy time of year for everyone and wrapping presents isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but this is a way you can have your gifts beautifully wrapped and know that your contribution makes a difference.”
Last year, $19,209 was raised from wrapping at Cairns Central and $2614 from Michael Aw The Good Guys. “Our records go back to 2001 and since then we’ve raised more than $140,000 from gift wrapping, which has gone towards things such as the Paediatric Playground, PET-CT scanner, brainlab and patient televisions,” Mr Franz said.
“For some of the people who volunteer for this event, this is the only time of year we see them, but that’s fine because they’re giving the gift of their time,” he said.
Christmas Wrap is available at both Cairns Central and Michael Aw The Good Guys. Both are available until Christmas Eve.
Photo: Foundation volunteer Lynette Binder offers a happy smile while she wraps gifts in return for a donation to the Foundation.