IN ITS first year of operation, Lennox Head-based charity Heartfelt Homes helped 30 families who were affected by medical emergencies and were in desperate need of accommodation.
Now the charity is on track to support almost 100 this year.
It’s a growth rate the founder, Caroline Meehan, said she could never have predicted. Ms Meehan said a newly launched corporate sponsorship program would go a long way to helping meet the growing need of the charity.
Heartfelt Homes has recently received major sponsorship from Brydens Lawyers who have committed to purchasing two hotel rooms for one year for use by both Westmead hospitals and Liverpool hospital.
Ms Meehan said the partnership would help up to 100 families over the next 12 months. She said the corporate sponsorship program wouldn’t be possible without the help of accommodation providers close to hospitals who were willing to discount rooms.
“I never could have imagined this, but it does feel like it’s on the right path now,” Ms Meehan said.
“It does feel like it could be a viable national service.
“What the sponsorship program has done is provide the service but take away the financial stress.”
Before the idea of corporate sponsorship, Heartfelt House was struggling to make up to three placements per week, each costing an average of $350.
Ms Meehan said she hoped to secure a total of 3 sponsored rooms by July next year. She said corporate sponsors were able to brand the hotel rooms they sponsored and receive recognition on the charity’s website.
Heartfelt Homes charity founder Caroline Meehan’s husband Andy Newton recently returned from an 800km bike ride down the east coast to raise money for the charity. His bike ride raised a massive $10,506.
The ride was also a recovery journey for Mr Newton who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2013. Mr Newton and his team raised $10,506 riding from Lennox Head to the Sydney opera house in just eight days.