As part of our commitment to participating in the communities in which we operate, National Storage is pleased to partner with various local initiatives to lend a hand where we can.
According to Wesley Mission Queensland, approximately 70,000 Queenslanders are currently experiencing poverty. This is a staggering amount, but a harsh reality for so many.
With December just around the corner, it is hard to imagine what Christmas will look like for those doing it tough.
As we approach the final days of the 2020 Appeal, we sat down with Red Bag Appeal’s Fundraising General Manager, Paul Reis, to find out how he came to be involved with the organisation and why the general public should support the cause this year.
How did you become involved with the Red Bag Appeal?
“For the past six years, Wesley Mission QLD has been involved in the Red Bag Appeal. Two years ago, I came to WMQ to take on the role of Fundraising General Manager and to grow the Red Bag Appeal to meet the growing needs of the community through this appeal.”
Why should people support the Red Bag Appeal?
“It’s been a tough year for everyone – but even tougher for some due to loss of jobs, increased mental health concerns and domestic violence. Our motto this year is ‘If you can – you should’, encouraging people and businesses that are able to help their community to give if they can. This simple act of a Christmas hamper or a donation means giving Christmas to a family that otherwise would have to go without.”
What do you love about working at the Red Bag Appeal?
“The responses when we deliver the bags to families doing it tough. Their smiles and sense of relief, taking pressure off the expense and expectations of Christmas. Also, the generosity of the community that continues to give to this Appeal – I’m always blown away by the generosity I see each day in this appeal – we live in such a great community.”
How does the Red Bag Appeal work with local sporting teams to raise awareness and involve the community?
“This year, Brisbane Lions player Hugh McCluggage is our Red Bag Ambassador, helping us spread the word of this appeal through his social posting. Hugh is very passionate about helping his community where he can.”
How does National Storage facilitate meaningful change?
“We are now in our third year of partnership with National Storage for the Red Bag Appeal. The support that NS gives by providing storage support gives us the ability to concentrate on those that need support in our community, rather than be time poor with logistics around the transportation and storage of bags. Having National Storage as a major supporter has been a game changer for us to reach out and meet the increasing needs of our community.”
How has COVID-19 affected the Wesley Mission Queensland in 2020?
“It’s been a tough year with many of our services exploding in demand especially in the mental health areas and emergency food relief. With restrictions in place, there has been great demands placed on our workers who have to continue meeting the needs of the community without volunteer support due to reduced numbers required in our centres.”
What does your Christmas look like this year?
“Myself and my team will be working around the clock to give joy and hope to everyone who needs support this Christmas after a very tough year. We will be speaking at schools, taking donations, picking up red bags, delivering to families and putting smiles on faces which is an awesome privilege. After all, Santa can’t be late!”
You can give joy and hope to those doing it tough this Christmas by simply filling a Red Bag with goodies to help someone in need.
Pick up and drop off your Red Bags at any of the below National Storage centres before Friday 27 November to make a difference this festive season.
Tomorrow, 25 November, is also Christmas Appeal Giving Day. For 24 hours only, every donation made to Wesley Mission Queensland will be doubled by several generous WMQ supporters. Find out more and donate here.