A furry friend for sick children

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Snuggling a soft teddy bear brings great comfort to any child, especially a sick one, and these school holidays Sunshine Coast kids will have the opportunity to make a snuggly companion for either themselves or a very sick child at Noosa Civic’s Build A Bear workshops.

Noosa Civic centre manager Monica Lord said the school holiday activity will offer kids something fun to do but was also expected to raise over $3,500 to support families in need through Ronald McDonald House Charities.

“While there will be thousands of Sunshine Coast kids enjoying their school holidays there will also be many Australian kids in hospital with a serious illness or injury,” Ms Lord said.

“We hope our fundraising efforts with the Build A Bear workshops will contribute to easing the burden for these children’s families and provide a special little present for the kids.

“All funds raised from the $5 donation to build a bear will be donated to Ronald McDonald House Australia and once the kids have made their snuggly bear, they can choose to either take it home or give it to comfort a sick child in one of the charity houses.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia CEO Barbara Ryan said that support from the community is vital to providing a home away from home for the 10,000 families each year travelling long distances for the treatment of their child’s serious illness.

“Our eighteen Ronald McDonald Houses around Australia provide critical accommodation and ease of access to hospitals for families in metro and regional locations needing daily treatment,” Ms Ryan said.

“We also have 18 Ronald McDonald Family Rooms located within almost every children’s hospital that provide a much-needed escape as well as vital services such as laundry, meals and a bed to rest while our National Learning Program covers the gap in education for over 1,300 children every week.”

“It costs $138 per room per night to provide accommodation for families travelling long distances for the treatment of their child’s serious illness, so the funds raised from this activity will directly contribute to the running costs of our houses.

“As an added bonus, the donated teddy bears will certainly put smiles on the faces of sick children and we are so grateful that Noosa Civic is helping to raise funds through this fun initiative.”

Ms Lord said Noosa Civic always aimed to support community initiatives through their school holiday activities while providing entertaining activities for the kids.

“At Noosa Civic we have always been committed to providing a fun, family-friendly environment and we’re delighted to support an organisation like Ronald McDonald House Charities and the support they provide for families in need,” Ms Lord said.

“Over the past 4 years, we have raised approximately $20,000 for great causes and this July we hope to increase that by a further $3,500 to help families who find themselves in the most challenging circumstances.”

“We expect spaces in the Build A Bear workshops to fill fast so encourage people to book quickly.”

The Build A Bear workshops will take place at 9am, 11am and 1pm daily between 1 July and 12 July.  To find out more and avoid disappointment, book your place at www.noosacivicshopping.com.au.