INSPIRED by the season of giving, the Kawana Chamber of Commerce have decided to shift their focus slightly this Christmas.
Known mostly for their work in the business sector, the chamber are now using their commercial standing in the community to help out disadvantaged families across the Coast.
Chamber president Linda Delamotte said $1000 had already been donated to SunnyKids, and that they would be contributing a further $10 from every ticket for their annual Christmas party next Wednesday.
"While it can be easy to get caught up in the hype of buying presents and planning celebratory activities over the holiday season, I think it's important that we all take time to reflect on how truly lucky we are,” she said.
"Let's spare a thought for the families within our community that may be doing it tough, not just over Christmas but year round.”
SunnyKids CEO Chris Turner said the charity was appreciative of the chamber's support, as funds raised would enable them to deliver more services such as emergency accommodation and employment support as well as literacy and wellbeing programs in schools.
"What many people don't realise is that the Sunshine Coast community alone identifies 5000 at-risk children annually, which is a very concerning statistic,” he said.
"We give those kids an opportunity to belong, because it's only when you feel like you can belong that you can reach your full potential.”
Mr Turner said one SunnyKids success story involved a 10-year-old boy who was struggling academically due to significant financial strain on both parents and his five siblings.
"We secured a tutor for the child and arranged for his mother to attend financial counselling sessions to assist with a tight budget for the family through Christmas,” he said.
"We also supported the family to access some emergency relief to ease the financial pressure and to obtain Centrelink benefits. The boy's father also began to study at the local university to upskill himself.
"The family recently advised that for the first time ever, the boy, in his first year of high school, had received an 'A' grade.
"He is now a confident learner, managing his own homework without prompting.
"These success stories are incredibly rewarding and we will continue to work hard to ensure local children in need receive the support they require.”
The Christmas party will take place on December 7 from 5.30pm at The Lakehouse, Mountain Creek.
Tickets cost $38 for members and $45 for non-members and include canapés and a welcome drink.
For more information, visit www.kawanachamber.com.au or call 0428 334 582.
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