Autumn Update – From our CEO
Well 2020 has certainly thrown us some challenges. The last time you received a newsletter from Children First Foundation, Australia was battling bushfires and floods, and now we are experiencing a global pandemic. The rippling impact of these unprecedented events will be felt by us all for a long time to come. My thoughts are with you during these very difficult and unsettling times.
Although coronavirus has impacted on our ability to bring children to Australia for surgery, and significantly delayed our ability to have any cases assessed for treatment, we remain committed as ever to our Mission.
As those of you who received my email in March* will recall, where surgeries were postponed due to the coronavirus, we quickly pulled out all the stops to get the majority of the children and their carers home, while it was still safe to do so. The seven children and three carers who are completing their rehab; are between surgeries; or are a high priority on the surgical waiting list, remain in the care of our wonderful staff and volunteers at The Retreat.
We were, as ever, incredibly fortunate to receive support in the form of food donations and supplies from generous friends. Even when the supermarkets’ stocks were low, we were able to feed the masses. It was incredibly moving to take calls from the community wanting to share what they had, arrange collections at their workplaces, or drive around for us in search of the ever-elusive toilet roll! We really can’t thank you enough for being part of the family.
As you may know, we made the decision to cancel our annual Sparkling Lunch which was due to be held in May. As it is a significant fundraiser for us, we are worried about the impact this will financially have, and are extremely grateful to those of you who have chosen to donate your ticket price in lieu of attending. The funds from the Lunch are being allocated towards the surgical costs for Paska from PNG. As his condition is deteriorating, we must get him into surgery, with as little delay as possible, once he is able to travel.
In the midst of so much uncertainty, it seems that everyone, including CFF, has been in a response mode as the impact of coronavirus plays out. However, one thing I certainly do know is that despite the tough times, we are also moving forward, and will be ready to hit the throttle when some normality is restored – because the children we assist need us to be. Together as a community and as a family, we will do everything in our power to ensure the children on our waiting list will be with us as soon as possible, and those already in our care continue to access the treatment they desperately need.
Thank you for sticking with us during these unusual times. When we need each other more than ever, your support and friendship mean so much.
Warm regards and please take care,
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