May update from Lisa Rowe - Wishlist Org
Background Image - May update from Lisa Rowe

May update from Lisa Rowe

15th May, 2020

A travel-loving friend of mine recently declared that she’d never complain about living at the “butt-end of the planet” again, nor the fact that she felt so far away from the action of the UK and Europe. 

I think we’ve all learned to appreciate our good fortune at living in Australia when COVID-19 impacted the world.

We’ve seen beautiful displays of humanity as civilisation was brought to its’ knees, and for the most-part I believe we should feel very proud of how we’ve responded.

But then there’s those who have absolutely shone. Through the toughest times our business community has ever faced we’ve received a flood of support towards our Wishlist Spreads Love appeal helping those who need it most.

Through our appeal we’ve harnessed the sentiments of a grateful and generous community to thank our frontline health team, who have been heroes of the pandemic both locally and across the world.  Thanks to Superior Food Services and Bulla we’ve seen thousands of choc top ice creams, and recently balloons and chocolates from iGenerate Marketing delivered to hospital workers across the Coast. The Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) continue to provide vouchers for takeaway meals to healthcare workers after a long shift.

To support patients in the most practical way our charity is distributing care packs to our most vulnerable patients, on discharge from a local hospital and out in the community.  

The care packs will be distributed to COVID-diagnosed patients, the elderly and frail, rehabilitation patients, mental health patients and new mums.   We realised that so many are doing it tough at the moment, and a little help can go a long way, particularly when you’re recovering from illness or injury.

Lisa Rowe with one of the Seniors Care Packs

We’ve filled our first round of packs with gifts and items purchased by Wishlist with your donations, and donations from generous business and individuals.

IGA Wises Rd, Cooroy, Maleny and Head Office donated $2,000 worth of grocery items, Colgate donated boxes of toiletry items, the Happy Snack Company donated boxes of chocolate chic peas and fava beans, and Alpha H skincare donated thousands of luxury face cleanser, skin masks, sunscreen and cleansing cloths.

A fantastic donation from The Happy Snack Company.

Big Top Shopping Centre has donated 10 care packs brimming with hundreds of dollars worth of goods, as has Sunshine Toyota – Wishlist’s long-term partner. 

Wishlist partner Push Productions provided the boxes for the packs, and has signed on to cover the cost of Wishlist’s quarterly newsletter, Daisy Chain – saving us more than $10,000 each year.

Just Better Care Sunshine Coast donated $20,000 worth of home care services, which could mean a free two-hour house clean, some shopping being done for a patient or simply some company over a cup of tea.

LINUS and CWA blankets and knee rugs are also included in some packs, hand made with love for patients of our local hospitals.

Thanks to a $5,000 donation from Wishlist partner Quickcorp we’ve also included $30 vouchers for home-delivered fresh produce, and other items that show our patients a little love. 

All donations to our appeal will go towards more packs to be distributed over the next few months across all hospitals from Caloundra to Gympie.

Wishlist partners continue their commitment to support the needs of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health staff. As priceless partners of our work Sunshine Toyota, Wealthmed, FTA Accountants and BOQ Maroochydore and Buderim offer additional payments to Wishlist for Health staff business, and some of these “commissions” will be directed to supporting more patients in the months ahead. 

Ausmar Homes pushed through challenging times to complete The House the Coast Built, that provides affordable, luxurious accommodation within walking distance to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) to patients and families. 120 local businesses built this six-bedroom, double storey home for Wishlist for almost no cost, and this home – Ausmar’s third charity home project for Wishlist – leaves a legacy to benefit countless families during the health crisis of a loved one.

We celebrated the launch of the magnificent home at our Virtual House Party which you can view below, and thanks to hosts 92.7 Mix FM and media partners WIN TV and the Sunshine Coast Daily we reached an audience of more than 18,400 people.

We simply can’t thank enough the team at Ausmar Homes and every business and family who contributed to the build, fit out and furnishing of this incredibly large, warm and welcoming home that will be open for business within days.

Adding to what they’ve already donated to help build The House the Coast Built through Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids, Mick and Cherie Allwood of Capricorn Roofing have donated their two-bedroom apartment at Oceanside, on the lake opposite SCUH to Wishlist for the needs of families and patients.  

Wishlist’s range of accommodation options is growing to meet the needs of a burgeoning population and expanded services offered at SCUH.

Reed House, right beside Nambour Hospital, still serves the needs of cancer patients and others who need an affordable and comfortable place to stay to be close to Nambour or SCUH for treatment. We know the need for this type of accommodation will only grow, and thanks to Andrew Wallace MP and the Federal Health Department we have purchased land opposite SCUH on which to build Wishlist Solace Centre.

The multi-storey development will provide patient and carer accommodation, and offer space for collaboration with other not-for-profit and commercial entities that offer services to support patients through the hospital journey. Wishlist Solace Centre will also support Wishlist’s annual commitment to local research that benefits patients of the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service.   

The website will be live soon showing more information about this project, and how you can be part of something very special for our community and areas beyond, such as western and central Queensland.

As a charity generously supported by the local business community for 21 years we’ve used this time, where possible, to give back to that community of supporters.

Rather than focusing on the normal wares of hospital kiosks, Wishlist have chosen to give local restaurants and cafes an opportunity to provide gourmet delights to Nambour hospital staff through the new Wishlist Coffee House Nambour enterprise.

One of our volunteers, Stella, at Wishlist Coffee House Nambour.

We know it’s not the most profitable move as a charity-run café but we see an opportunity to support the local restaurant and café industry, in a small way, and offer Nambour Hospital staff the option of some amazing meals for the next month or so.

Contributing weekly gourmet delights are Mercure Sunshine Coast Lake Kawana, Vista Restaurant and Deliciously Clean Eats.

We’ve also taken the unique step of offering WishlistConnect, our priceless membership app, to supporters for free until the end of July.  This app is used by most local Health staff and enables local businesses to offer deals to Health staff and the wider community, and support Wishlist at the same time.

We’ve been distracted by COVID, along with the rest of the world, but we’re also continuing the work we do to enhance local health services.

We’ve just ordered DVD players and Ipads for the Childrens Ward and two Buzzy Healthcare kits for Ambulatory Care thanks to Mix FM’s Give Me 5 for Kids last year, and $3,700 worth of TVs for Glenbrook House residents who have been isolated from family and friends for more than a month. 

I must thank Harry and Margaret Reed for yet another donation that made these orders possible, and for all this couple and family has done for families of the Sunshine Coast and beyond.

Coffee vouchers for staff of the Covid-19 wards, thanks to Sunshine Toyota.

We really are lucky to be Australian, but even more so to be Sunny Coasters.  There is no place like it.

Thanks for supporting Wishlist and for making life a little easier for patients of our local hospitals.

Keep well.

Lisa Rowe.