Fuelled by a spirit of compassion and generosity and an understanding that we are all connected, these initiatives are a true expression of one of the most important community ideals – to look after one other.
Here, we outline just some of the initiatives that are offering thanks to the care providers and essential services staff in our communities, and lending a hand to those in need.
In collaboration with our centres’ retail partners, thousands of pantry hampers and snack packs have been delivered to hospitals around the country as a gesture of appreciation for hospital staff. Filled with a number of ready-to-eat goodies, these hampers delivered much-needed break-time snacks and beverages to frontline healthcare workers around Australia, with Eastland, Castle Towers, Westpoint, Pacific Epping, Pacific Werribee, Robina Town Centre and Canberra Centre all donating and delivering hampers to hospitals in their area.
Supporting vulnerable communities, Canberra Centre partnered with Coles to distribute boxes of groceries and other necessities to the Ngunnawal Street Pantry, which shares its donated goods with disadvantaged community members throughout the region; Grand Central donated 100 $10 gift cards to several local charities in Toowoomba, including a soup kitchen and a women’s support shelter; Westpoint partnered with Orient Express and St Vincent de Paul to organise free meals, colouring books and Easter eggs for local families at Easter; and Castle Towers joined forces with retailers Casey’s Toys and Best and Less to donate goods to local women’s shelter, The Sanctuary.
In Queensland, Hyperdome teamed up with Bakers Delight to donate 400 hot cross bun packs for distribution to elderly community members at Easter; while in New South Wales, Castle Towers coordinated with its retail partners to prepare home-delivered care packages for isolated residents of local retirement villages, including hot cross buns supplied by retail partner Shepherd’s Artisan Bakehouse. In Victoria, Eastland and its cleaning contractor Glad Group coordinated the delivery of 2000 toilet rolls to elderly, disabled and disadvantaged members of the community via a local aged care and disability service and also gave away more than 600 free hand sanitiser wipe and spray packets to commuters using Ringwood Train Station, which borders the centre.
In the virtual space, our centres have invited community members to express their gratitude for essential service providers online via the ‘A little thanks…goes a long way’ initiative, which posts messages of thanks and encouragement for healthcare workers, shelf stackers, customer service and retail staff, cleaners and other essential workers.
Many of our centres have launched dedicated online activity hubs which have been filled with a range of activities, tutorials, book clubs and more, to engage families during isolation. Grand Central has partnered with Goodlife Health Clubs to provide the community with access to free online fitness tutorials, for example.
At QICGRE, we know that we are more than our physical footprint. As the hubs of many outer metropolitan areas and regional towns, our places and the people who keep them functioning have a major impact on community wellbeing. Community is, and always will be, our most important asset. We are proud to share such uplifting stories of everyday humanity and wish to thank all of our staff, retail partners and community partners for making these acts of kindness possible.