Helping families find the gift of time

Thousands of dollars raised by staff at the Bendigo Smart Centre has given local breast cancer sufferers much needed time out with their families, and provided food to relief agencies and local schools.

Staff donated over $8000 in the past year for a breast cancer retreat program run by The OTIS Foundation and Bendigo Foodshare. 

Since the Department of Human Services Workplace Giving program started in Bendigo in 2011, over $50,000 has been donated to many local organisations including the Bendigo Hospital, animal welfare organisations and Bendigo SES.

Bendigo Smart Centre Manager Brendan Blandford said it gives staff the opportunity to connect with charities and causes they care deeply about.

“Our staff love to get involved with the workplace giving program, and they take great pride in getting together to support local charities,” said Brendan.

“Many of the charities nominated are near and dear to the hearts of our staff, whether it’s being involved as a volunteer, or benefiting from their services at one point.”

Bendigo staff have participated in various fundraising initiatives, including setting up regular deductions from their work salary, to raise money for local charities and organisations.

The latest donation to the OTIS Foundation will be used to gift retreat accommodation to people experiencing breast cancer and their loved ones.

Marcela, a recent OTIS guest said taking time away from doctor appointments and surgeries in a peaceful environment can have a rejuvenating effect on families fighting breast cancer.

“It was a time to connect again while disconnecting from everything else around us.  Thank you, so much for this gift of time together.  It was so valuable for us in so many ways,” said Marcela.

With the enthusiastic support from staff, the OTIS Foundation were able to provide families with approximately one month’s worth of holiday accommodation, as well as important repairs to the retreat in Redesdale, Victoria.

People featuring in the photo from L – R

  • Laura Stratford – Ballarat & Bendigo Smart Centre (Bendigo Site) staff member
  • Rain Millar – representing The OTIS Foundation
  • Mandy Mitchell – representing The OTIS Foundation
  • Annie Constable – representing Bendigo Foodshare
  • Kim Ashman – Ballarat & Bendigo Smart Centre (Bendigo Site) staff member
  • Helen Wee-Hee – A/g Service Support Manager Ballarat & Bendigo Smart Centre (Bendigo Site)