Last weekend, the first prize winner of our Ladies Night raffle held back in October at Shorty‘s in Lennox Head, claimed her epic prize! Michelle Lacey packed her bags and set off with her favourite girls to their luxury weekend away at local award-winning contemporary home, Amileka. Nestled in the stunning northern New South Wales hinterland, Amileka offers a truly unique Byron Bay experience. The luxury estate is set on picturesque acreage just a two-minute drive from the quaint village of Federal and is a 25-minute scenic drive to Byron Bay and its array of world-class beaches. The stunning home has five bedrooms and, with a pool, spa, fire-pit, and never-ending views; it's the perfect place to unwind with a group of friends and loved ones, as Michelle and
This week is National Volunteer Week across Australia. #NVW is an initiative held by Volunteering Australia designed to honour the six million volunteers who selflessly donate their time to help good causes across Australia. Volunteers are the lifeblood of most, if not all, charitable organisations. As the Founder of a busy not-for-profit myself I know just how much a valuable part they play in day-to-day operations. If you don't currently volunteer, but you've been thinking about helping out a local charity close to your heart, here are nine benefits of volunteering for a non-profit. 1) You're helping an awesome cause. Number one speaks for itself. Most charity budgets are stretched to capacity with every cent being sunk into helping the organisation achieve its mission. This can often leave organisations
Something that I often hear when I’m out and about in the community is that people can no longer afford to donate to charity. There are so many good causes out there, and with each one with making as big an impact as the next; it’s not always practical to give money to everyone who asks for it. But while the hearts of the community might want to stretch to support all the charities; ‘giving’ doesn’t have to stop at money. There are many other ways to give to charity or to people who really need your help which won’t cost you a cent. Here are four simple ways you can give to a charity and make a big impact on your local or wider community, that won’t affect
As a community-minded business owner, there's no doubt that your mailboxes, both physical and electronic, are flooded with requests for support from local charities and good causes. Appeals for financial aid, sponsorship opportunities, and requests for donations of goods and services just keep coming, and it can be hard to know who to say yes to and who to decline. According to findings from recent studies, business giving in Australia is on the rise and reached $17.8 million in 2015-2016. With $7.7 billion donated through community partnerships, and $6.2 billion contributed in cash donations, surprisingly, 99% of giving was made by small to medium businesses, and only 0.2% of large companies donate regularly. With cash flow and budgets often controlled by those whose objective it is to authorise only
There’s no doubt that anyone who’s got kids, a job, and a home to run has a busy, and probably stressful life! All those packed lunches, appointments, after-school clubs, homework, meetings and presentations to prepare for can really get on top of you if you let them. But have you noticed that there are some mums and dads at the school gate who seem to be nailing the whole Zen thing? Nothing seems to phase them and whatever’s going on in life they always seem to be cool, calm and most of all; happy. It took me a long time to get there too, but in the past few years I’ve also learnt that you can teach yourself to be happy no matter what’s going on around you. I
As you probably know by now, in 2013 I lived through the diagnosis, treatment and recovery of the severe illness of my partner and father of my children. Like many other people, I know how much the whole process consumes you. You're exhausted, you're stressed, you're emotionally broken, you're scared, yet you have to stay strong and keep going for the sake of those who need you. While people rally around and do all they can, sometimes, all you need is just for someone to listen while you vent out your anger, frustrations and fear. People like to be practical, but while helpful and delicious, all the casseroles in the world won't make up for the power that having a good rant does to someone going through a tough
Toby* was just a typical six-year-old boy from Orange, NSW. The energetic young lad was living the same life as any other six-year-old; running around, kicking a ball, and settling into his first couple of years at school. Then, on a day that started just like any other, disaster struck, and he suffered an accident which left him with extreme burns and severe scarring to his face. Living over 260 km from The Children's Hospital at Westmead, the only hospital that can treat his severe injuries, Toby's family were quickly thrown into financial crisis. The cost of regularly making the three-hour trip to Westmead, and paying for expensive hotel rooms so they could stay together at a time they needed each other the most, started to take its toll.
It's not easy to put the work that you do into the lifesaving category; especially when you're not on the front line administering emergency medical treatment. Heartfelt Homes exists because I witnessed firsthand the problem that lack of affordable accommodation available near city hospitals was causing ordinary Australians like you and I. I saw vacant hotel and motel rooms as the practical solution, and, every day, I do whatever I can to bridge the gap between the two and help families stay together at a time they need each other the most. In those early days, never did I comprehend that bringing the concept to life would have the capacity to save lives. Last week, however, I spoke to a social worker at Post Macquarie Hospital who confirmed exactly
In January 2017, Heartfelt Homes accommodated the loved ones of 19 patients who were receiving hospital treatment far away from home. At a cost of $6200 on accommodation alone, we provided 50 nights' accommodation at existing hotel and motel facilities close to city hospitals at no charge to the family. We haven't re-invented the wheel; there are no purpose-built accommodation blocks or specialised facilities. I just saw a need and a solution, and I'm using Heartfelt Homes to do whatever I can to make the two meet in the middle. Without our current donors, those 19 families who are already buckling under the financial pressure associated with illness would have had to travel more than 100 km home after visiting hours, have slept in their cars in an unfamiliar
Married couple forced to separate for the first time in over 50 years as 83-year-old’s life hangs in the balance.
CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO KEEP THIS BEAUTIFUL COUPLE TOGETHER Last week I received a devastating call that could have been about any family just like mine or yours. An 83-year-old man, Terry*, had been admitted to The Westmead Hospital with extreme heat exhaustion and was incubated in ICU. Terry was trying to do work on his home, but with the temperatures during the recent heatwave too much to bear, he had become dangerously ill and was urgently admitted to hospital for medical treatment which would save his life. Terry's wife, Eileen*, is 78-years-old. She can barely walk and is utterly lost without her husband by her side. Eileen hasn't left the hospital since her beloved husband's admission last week, but because he was in such a bad way,
Last week, the Heartfelt Homes’ team made the trip from Ballina in NSW to Orange in Country NSW to visit our newest location... ...And we couldn't be more thrilled with what we found when we got there! I wanted to share details of our trip with you and recommend that if you haven't visited Orange yet that you put it on your list; what a place! Orange is renowned as the birthplace of Australia's famous poet, Banjo Paterson, who was born in John Templer's home on February 17 1864. A monument and statue are located at the site of his birthplace, Banjo Paterson Park, on the Ophir Road. My beautiful six-year-old is named Banjo after the very man himself, so the second we arrived I knew that Orange and
That's right, the cats out of the bag! Heartfelt Homes is on its way to Orange!! Orange is 250km west of Sydney and with a population of approximately 40,000; the major hospital in the city is the Orange Health Service. In its current form, it opened in 2011 and is the largest rural hospital in NSW. As the primary referral hospital for the whole of the Central West region; Orange Health Services has a 24-hour Emergency Department, a critical care unit for adults, coronary care, a cancer treatment unit, a burns and trauma unit, and much more. The Orange Hospital is a modern-day medical hub offering a diverse range of medical services to the community of Orange and, as it's equipped with a helipad for aeromedical emergency services, it’s
This week I went to pick up a very special cheque from local supporters, Club Lennox. This Christmas, the kind souls donated 100% of their profits of the sale of fresh cut Christmas trees - how awesome is that?! Kevin Watts (pictured), the board and staff at Club Lennox raised a massive $646 for Heartfelt Homes through this initiative which is already being used to keep two families of four together for three nights each. Now, more than ever, it is so important for local businesses to look to supporting community causes. Community organisations like ours increasingly have to function with little or no government financial support meaning that we can't always achieve our mission. Local businesses also find that when they show a commitment to the wider community
When you become a parent, your life instantly changes. From the moment you hold your precious newborn in your arms, you know that, without question, you'll do whatever it takes to help your child survive, develop and grow. The unconditional love that you feel for your kids prioritises everything else in your world, and it never wavers, in fact, it becomes stronger, as you watch them go through childhood, adolescence, and in turn become an adult. But what if your child never becomes an adult or even reaches adolescence? Just over a month ago, I received a phone call from a social worker at the Westmead Hospital. They were calling on behalf of a family from regional Australia, a city which is a five-hour drive away from the hospital.