The PRWIRE Press Releases https:// 2018-11-14T08:53:39Z Freemasons donate $1.45M to drought-affected Queenslanders 2018-11-14T08:53:39Z freemasons-donate-1-45m-to-drought-affected-queenslanders-1 Freemasons across Queensland and Papua New Guinea have again rallied with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland to support drought-affected families and communities. The success of their most recent Drought Disaster Relief Appeal has meant that collectively Freemasons have donated $1.45 million over the past four years. The recent appeal saw Hand Heart Pocket donate an additional two dollars for every dollar donated by its members and Masonic Lodges - therefore tripling their impact and helping to raise $450,000 in just six weeks. Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said eftpos cards were being distributed through its delivery partners on the ground, enabling funds to be spent locally, helping to put food on the table and to pay essential bills. “By working with The Western Drought Appeal and their associated distribution channels, the Rural Financial Counselling Service, Queensland Education and the School of Distant Education parent support group, we can ensure that funds get to those that are most in need,” Gary said. “Around 1500 eftpos cards are currently being distributed to families in Longreach, Winton, Barcaldine, Blackall-Tambo, Barcoo, Boulia, McKinlay, Richmond, Murweh, Flinders, Bulloo, Quilpie and Paroo.” “Rather than trucking in supplies, this method allows funds to be spent locally in support of the local business community,” he said. Including two Masonic Lodges in Papua New Guinea, 127 Lodges throughout the state contributed to the Appeal, helping to provide a greater impact. “By pooling our efforts we’ve been able to reach so many more drought-affected Queenslanders – to provide a hand up in their time of need. A contribution of $1.45M over four years is a remarkable effort by our membership,” Gary said. As an independent charity founded by the Freemasons of Queensland, Hand Heart Pocket helps in areas of state-wide and local need that have limited access to other funding. We work with other charities to identify and fund initiatives that have real, life-changing potential. We also collaborate with Masonic Lodges across Queensland and help individuals in times of extreme need to get them back on their feet. We use our funds wisely to give a hand-up - not a handout - and to build potential. To find out more about Hand Heart Pocket visit www.handheartpocket.org.au For media requests, please contact: Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland Karen Tilke, General Manager Marketing and Public Relations, on 07 3493 6009 or ktilke@handheartpocket.org.au  Freemasons rally together to support drought-affected Queenslanders 2018-09-10T04:37:41Z freemasons-rally-together-to-support-drought-affected-queenslanders Freemasons from around the state have rallied with their charity, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland to again support drought-affected families and communities.  Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said that the charity had previously worked with Freemasons throughout the state from 2015 to 2017 and was able to donate $1 million to drought-affected families and communities. “With over half of the state drought-declared and some parts of Queensland not seeing rain for more than five years, some of our members recognised the urgency to support these communities again,” said Gary.  “We also wanted to show drought-affected Queenslanders that they were not forgotten and therefore have agreed to donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by our Freemason members and Masonic Lodges for an eight-week period until October 5 this year,” he said.  Already, from the support of Freemasons throughout the state and the charity pitching in double what they are donating, Hand Heart Pocket has almost $120,000 ready to distribute to drought-affected families and communities. The organisation will provide Eftpos cards to be distributed through its partners on the ground such as The Western Drought Appeal and their associated distribution channels, the Rural Financial Counselling Service, Queensland Education and the School of Distant Education parent support group, to ensure they get quickly to where they are needed most. “The cards are designed to be spent locally, to put food on the table and to pay essential bills such as electricity,” said Gary. “We hope that by October 5 we will be able to make a greater impact on drought-affected families and communities.” As an independent charity founded by the Freemasons of Queensland, Hand Heart Pocket helps in areas of state-wide and local need that have limited access to other funding. We work with other charities to identify and fund initiatives that have real, life-changing potential. We also collaborate with Masonic Lodges across Queensland and help individuals in times of extreme need to get them back on their feet. We use our funds wisely to give a hand up and to build potential. For more information on Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland visit www.handheartpocket.org.au or find them on Facebook. <ENDS> For media requests, please contact: Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland Karen Tilke, General Manager Marketing and Public Relations, on 07 3493 6009 or ktilke@handheartpocket.org.au  Million-dollar grant empowers students with disability to be job-ready 2018-06-20T03:59:58Z million-dollar-grant-empowers-students-with-disability-to-be-job-ready-1 Students with disability in the Brisbane Bayside, Logan City and Brisbane’s southside will be empowered to transition into meaningful employment by the time they finish high school, as plans for a multi-million-dollar disability employment and skills hub and supply chain services business get underway. It follows today’s announcement of a philanthropic partnership with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, who will contribute one million dollars, to assist Help Enterprises to cover the funding gap, with the purchase and fit out of the new $3.3 million-dollar HELP Centre of Excellence Community Disability Hub in Crestmead. Upon completion, schools will be able to refer students with disability in Years 10-12, to the Centre’s early intervention programs, to build both skills and confidence, to maximise employment opportunities in time for when they finish their schooling. The 2,500 sqm Supply Chain Services facility will also provide valuable work experience and permanent supported employment for up to 100 people with disability. Help Enterprises Managing Director Kerry Browne said that without early intervention more young people with disability would fall through the cracks, heading for long-term unemployment and social isolation. “Having a job that you enjoy doing brings with it greater independence, a greater sense of self-worth, confidence, as well as personal and professional development – which are things we all want in life,” he said. “Hand Heart Pocket, through their generosity, will enable us to promote an inclusive community and improve the lives of hundreds of young people with disability in the region each year,” Kerry said. “We’ll be embedded and integrated within 21 schools in the Bayside, Logan City and southside catchment areas which have special education units. We’ll also be working closely with local employers to facilitate valuable work experience for students that have completed the program,” he said.  In addition to the 2,500sqm warehouse for HELP’s Supply Chain Services business, the hub will feature training rooms including a life skills training room, a function room, lunch room, storage facilities and administration offices. “I really wanted to get a job and have somewhere to go after I finished Year 12,” HELP Employee Mitchell Grey said. “After a few months doing work experience one day a week, they came to me and offered me a job. Now I have somewhere to go. I’m really thankful for that. It’s such a welcoming place – you know you’re respected.” Mitchell said. As the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out in Brisbane and Logan, more people with disability will have the opportunity to receive support to gain and maintain employment just like Mitchell.  “Help Enterprises is an employer of choice and has vacancies for staff within its network of businesses, including this new facility in Crestmead,” said Kerry.  Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said education and employment for young people with disability aligned with the organisation’s focus. “Bridging the gap to equip students with disability with the skills to find and maintain gainful employment throughout their adult life resonates with our values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead more independent lives,” Gary said. “We are thrilled to partner with Help Enterprises on this important initiative that will empower young people with disability to write their own future.” About Hand Heart Pocket As an independent charity founded by the Freemasons of Queensland, Hand Heart Pocket helps in areas of state-wide and local need that have limited access to other funding. We work with other charities to identify and fund initiatives that have real, life-changing potential. We also collaborate with Masonic Lodges across Queensland and help individuals in times of extreme need to get them back on their feet. We use our funds wisely to give a hand up and to build potential. For more information about Hand Heart Pocket, visit www.handheartpocket.org.au About Help Enterprises HELP is a compassionate and progressive social enterprise, with a balance of commercial and social initiatives. HELP delivers market-leading products and services that add value for our customers, while creating vital employment opportunities and support for people with disability, and other disadvantaged groups. We are an organisation committed to enhancing people’s lives. For more information about Help Enterprises visit,  www.helpenterprises.com.au   For media requests, please contact: Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland Karen Tilke, General Manager Marketing and Public Relations, on 07 3493 6009 or ktilke@handheartpocket.org.au   Help Enterprises David Melloy, Marketing & Communications Manager, 07 3868 1765 or david.melloy@helpenterprises.com.au