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Why It Pays To Donate Or Volunteer At Christmas

The annual White Christmas Stocking Fund has kicked off again, meaning there’s a magical evening of Christmas entertainment at Warner Bros. Movie World just around the corner for 4,500 disadvantaged Gold Coasters.

Every year, the event begins by launching the Stocking Fund, which raises much-needed money to be distributed among struggling families and key charities nominated by the Gold Coast Community Fund (GCCF).

It ends with White Christmas Charity Event, which is also supported by the Gold Coast SUNS (an Aussie Rules Football team).

The event features a float parade in addition to all of Movie World’s normal entertainment – the rides, of course!

GCCF chairman Rutland Smith said the Fund, despite being able to give so much to disadvantaged  Gold Coasters, “desperately needs more donations”.

“Charity begins at home,” Mr Smith said.

“We don’t waste the dollars given to us.”

Mr Smith said about 94 cents out of every dollar donated to the fund is put back into the community via recipients in need.

Grandmother Shirley Walker with her grandchildren Gemma, 5, and Ryan, 8
Grandmother Shirley Walker with her grandchildren Gemma, 5, and Ryan, 8

One beautiful example of a recipient in need was five-year-old Gemma, who received a pink wheelchair through the GCCF.

Gemma requested that her wheelchair be pink, and her wish was brought to fruition.

Gemma’s grandmother, Shirley Walker, explained that Gemma suffers from Perthes’ disease, a disorder of the hip joint in children, initiated by an interruption to blood flow to the area. She said it would, in time, result in Gemma needing a hip joint replacement, probably in her 20s.

You can help make the lives of families like Gemma’s that little bit easier by either donating, or volunteering.

Mr Smith said the Stocking Fund is run entirely by volunteers, some who work in administration, others directly with the fundraising.

He cited the example of a man, who – well into his 80s upon retiring – dedicated 13 years of his time to the cause.

Mr Smith said retirees make the best volunteers, not only for their availability but for their life experience, which makes them better able to “handle sensitive situations appropriately and with the right judgement”.

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Alana Lowes

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