Letter to the Editor from RedKite CEO
The impact of COVID-19 has hit communities around the world hard this year, particularly those with significant health issues such as cancer. For families with a child with cancer, COVID-19 has been devastating and they need more support than ever.
We are working with families across Australia, whose anxieties are unimaginable due to the very real risk the pandemic poses to their child’s health. On top of that, they have additional financial pressures, with many not knowing how they will pay their petrol costs to and from hospital, energy bills, or groceries.
The reality is when you have a child with cancer, the demands are unrelenting, 24/7 and you never know what the next 24 hours will bring. The additional stress of COVID only amplifies the challenges these families face every day, and the stories are heartbreaking.
Redkite is a lifeline for these families, providing the real and essential practical, financial and emotional support they need. We receive no government funding to deliver these frontline services to help these families get through each day.
We have seen demand for our counselling and support service increase by more than 30 per cent and requests for financial assistance were up by more than 15 per cent, as many already stretched families fell victim to COVID economic woes.
But at the same time, Redkite has also been significantly impacted by COVID. We have been dealt a significant financial blow, losing more than $1 million in revenue just from not being able to run our flagship annual fundraising events due to the virus.
While the financial impacts of COVID saw many charity organisations withdraw programs and find themselves unable to deliver some services, this was not an option for us. It wasn’t an option to step away from the frontline of cancer support. We could not leave these families to struggle alone through not only their child’s illness, but the unimaginable stress of the pandemic.
We do, however, need help to enable us to deliver our essential services, to an ever-growing number of families who have a child with cancer, including those in your local community. We would appreciate the support from the Footscray community for our first-ever, week-long national appeal to the Australian community.
The ‘$24FOR24’ kids cancer fundraising campaign urges Australians around the country to donate just $24 to help a family experiencing childhood cancer, to make it through another 24 hours. The campaign kicks off on 18 November and runs for one week.
I encourage all Australians to donate just $24 to the ‘$24FOR24’ campaign to ensure children with cancer and their families can continue to receive the essential support they need by visiting 24for24.org.au