TAKE the stress out of Christmas this year and hand over your trolley of presents to be wrapped by volunteers for charity.
More than 130 Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation volunteers are giving up hours of their time this Christmas, to help cardiac patients.
Foundation CEO Tony Franz said the community was incredibly generous last year, donating $22,695 to the volunteer wrappers at Cairns Central’s Christmas Wrap.
“Funds raised from this annual event, will this year be going towards the second cardiac catheter lab project at Cairns Hospital,” Mr Franz said. “Of course all the funds that are donated to us, stay local to benefit local people.”
The project will mean less people have to travel to Townsville or Brisbane for heart treatment, and more heart patients can stay local.
“We actually have the highest rate of hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction in Queensland, at 905 per 100,000, which is 3.5 times higher than the national average.”
Last year more than 135 volunteers, spent 1624 hours, over 406 shifts, wrapping more than 10,000 gifts during the Christmas season at Cairns Central.
“Customers donate a gold coin for each gift to be wrapped, so that means the Hospital volunteers were very busy this year,” Mr Franz said.
Some volunteers use the event as a team-building exercise in their workplace, others volunteer with their family and some have moved away, but every year when they come “home” for Christmas they always volunteer at Christmas Wrap.
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 interactive patient stations.
“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,” he said. “Since the Foundation’s inception 20 years ago, we have contributed more than $14 million to improving health care in the Far North, and events such as this really do make a difference to patient outcomes,” Mr Franz 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.
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