Tassie staff dig deep for the community

Men on motocycles

Department of Human Services staff across Tasmania came together during 2018 to raise almost $30,000 for close to 70 charities.

Fundraising activities ended the year with Devonport-based Community Engagement Manager Kurt Tuthill and his colleagues taking part in the Motorcycle Riders Association Toy Run – and donating more than $1,200 to the Salvation Army.

“I’ve been involved with the toy run for close to 30 years and taken part in 16 of them,” Kurt said.

“In that time I would say I’ve helped to raise thousands for the Salvation Army.

“It’s such an important local drive, especially around Christmas. We see firsthand just how much people go without. As adults we can understand why that may be, but it’s more difficult for kids.

“The simple gesture of unwrapping a toy at Christmas is something a lot of people take for granted, but it can make a huge difference for a family doing it tough this year.”

Salvation Army Corps Officer, Captain Johnmark Snead said the significant donation will give families and children throughout Tasmania a helping hand at Christmas.

“This year was the 39th running of the MRA Toy Run, and during that time we have seen some amazing commitment from riders like Kurt. Participating in 16 Toy Runs and raising over $1,200 says it all,” Johnmark said.

“Thank you to Kurt and his colleagues from the department.

“We’ll distribute the donated toys throughout the Bass Strait islands, west coast, the far north west and east coast from top to bottom, north and south with the assistance of many other agencies.”

Kurt said teams across Tasmania are enthusiastic about getting behind worthy local and national charities.

“We take part in everything from casual clothes days, morning teas, and other events,” Kurt said.

“We try to support local organisations where we can, and this year we’ve raised funds for important causes in the communities we work and live in – such as Cystic Fibrosis Tasmania, Road Trauma Support Tasmania, Raptor and Wildlife Refuge and Hobart City Mission just to name a few.

“We also donated more than $5,000 to drought-affected farmers.

“The generosity of staff across the state is so overwhelming that in 2001 we put together a designated staff community fund.

“Since then, we have raised an enormous $450,000 for around 600 local and national charities.

“Year after year, I’m blown away by the commitment and community spirit of our staff in Tasmania. I’m really proud to be part of it.”