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$6,000 donation for Central Coast kids - Victoria talks about the hardships and how CCKIN helped her family

Generally, at this kind of event, recipient organisations give ‘thank you’ speeches on receiving a donation and there is little, if any, personal contact with the final beneficiaries.

$6,000 donation for Central Coast kids - Lorraine Churchill with HudsonLorraine Churchill with HudsonAt Wamberal Surf Club, that format was ‘turned on its head’ somewhat with Freemasons on the Central Coast (FotCC) asking recipient organisations to bring along one of their beneficiaries to receive the donation on their behalf. This provided a wonderful opportunity for all present to hear first-hand accounts – and gain a real understanding – of the impact and outcomes of their fundraising.

FotCC, along with the six associated masonic lodges of District 21, were donating to two organisations who receive little or no government funding. Central Coast Kids In Need (CCKIN) and Save Our Kids from Suicide (SOKS), a project of the Rotary Club of Gosford North, both received a donation of $3,000. This takes the total donated by FotCC to approximately $30,300 for CCKIN, and $52,300 for SOKS.

Central Coast Kids in Need (CCKIN)

Lorraine Churchill explained that CCKIN commenced some 27 years ago serving families whose children were in need of medical assistance – high cost prescriptions, specialised formulae, equipment, etc. – travel expenses and accommodation.

$6,000 donation for Central Coast kids - Victoria and Hudson (6 months)Victoria and Hudson (6 months)Victoria, a beneficiary of CCKIN, spoke of financial hardship when their first child (Ella) was born with Down Syndrome.

Ella was transferred to Sydney for three months until her medical conditions had stabilised. On returning home, specialised equipment needed to be hired. The cost of three months accommodation, travel and sustenance was astronomical for a young family. The heart-wrenching time with endless decisions to be made was both financially and emotionally draining.

Their second child (Hudson) was born prematurely and yet again CCKIN stepped in with much needed support. Victoria stated that she and her husband ‘will be forever grateful’ for all the assistance given by CCKIN. Talking to someone just seemed to lessen the stress.

Save Our Kids from Suicide (SOKS)

Lester Pearson, from the Rotary Club of Gosford North, is the coordinator of the SOKS project. From its beginning, Freemasons on the Central Coast have supported the Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) programme. ASIST trains people in identifying and approaching a person who is contemplating suicide, especially in a crisis situation. Training for the participants in this program, which has mainly included teachers and school support staff, is provided by Lifeline. ‘Mind Your Sports Mates’ is a similar programme that trains people in identifying the symptoms of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation.

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