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A donation to Bears Of Hope will support grieving families

Staff members have donated $15,500 from their salaries to support grieving families.

Wednesday, 10 January, 2018.

When Brianne Donald's child passed away, she and her family felt isolated by their grief. But a small gesture from the charitable organisation Bears Of Hope helped them cope.

"When we were given a Bear Of Hope, which had been donated by another grieving family, we were reminded that there were others out there who had walked in our shoes," Brianne said. "It gave us a keepsake to remember the life we had lost and comfort in knowing we were not alone."

Today, Brianne showed her appreciation to Bears Of Hope when she presented a donation of $15,500 from Newcastle Permanent staff members. The donation was raised by staff members who choose to contribute money from their salaries each fortnight to the CommunityAssist Program.      

Colleagues who participate in the donation scheme nominate and vote on the charities that will be the beneficiaries of the donated funds. Each year four charities are recipients of the donated funds, given in two donation rounds. 

Bears Of Hope was nominated by Brianne, who works in our Non Face to Face Lending Team.

Newcastle Permanent employee Brianne Donald holding a Bear of Hope and standing with Toni Watson from Bears of Hope
Brianne Donald with Toni Watson of Bears of Hope.

"We were so thankful for the support of Bears Of Hope over the years and by nominating them, I hoped Newcastle Permanent’s staff salary donations would be a means to show this gratitude." - Brianne Donald

"The grief for the loss of a child is very isolating," Brianne said. "Bears Of Hope, whose sole purpose is to support grieving families, offered me an outlet to express my feelings without expectations and a means to connect with other families.

"We were so thankful for the support of Bears Of Hope over the years and by nominating them, I hoped Newcastle Permanent’s staff salary donations would be a means to show this gratitude. The fact that my colleagues have supported my nomination is really humbling and I’m very grateful."

This donation will enable Bears Of Hope to support up to 140 families with the gift of a Bear Of Hope and to offer them support resources, instantly connecting parents with support, comfort, information, and guidance.

The donation will also enable counselling and a grief workshop to be offered to parents free of charge, and the purchase of a cuddle cot to be donated to a hospital, enabling bereaved families the opportunity to spend more time with their baby without the fear of having them cooled in a traditional mortuary.

Toni Watson, Vice President and Co-Founder of Bears Of Hope, said that every year in Australia tens of thousands of parents experienced the loss of their precious baby. 

“This donation will support some of those families through the hardest time of their life,” she said. “I cannot express my gratitude enough for the staff of Newcastle Permanent’s generosity and support of the work that Bears Of Hope does in the community.”

Visit the Bears Of Hope website here

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