Charity auction to support vulnerable children

HELPING HAND: Backpacks 4 SA Kids volunteer representative Karen Richards (second from left) with Pioneers Basketball Club players Kyle Tipene (No. 8), Tom Daly (No. 5) and OneFortyOne Jubilee Sawmill general manager Paul Hartung.

A CHARITY auction fundraising to support vulnerable Limestone Coast children will launch on Friday 16 October with 14 Pioneers Basketball Club playing jerseys up for grabs.

The Mount Gambier-based club has partnered with OneFortyOne (OFO) for the virtual memorabilia auction, which will raise funds for Backpacks 4 SA Kids.

The charity provides backpacks to help relieve stress and anxiety children face when removed from their family, often in traumatic situations and without the opportunity to gather personal belongings.

Each backpack contains age appropriate emergency clothing, toiletries and other necessary supplies for children aged 0-16 years who are taken into care as a result of neglect or abuse, family violence, or are experiencing homelessness.

Pledging to match the fundraising total dollar for dollar, OFO Jubilee Sawmill general manager Paul Hartung encouraged the Limestone Coast to support the cause.

“This is a great opportunity for community members to get behind a worthy charity which is doing some excellent work right here in the Limestone Coast,” he said.

“There are local families and children who need support so any assistance we can give to an organisation such as Backpacks 4 SA Kids will go a long way.”

Backpacks 4 SA Kids volunteer representative Karen Richards said having the backing of OneFortyOne and the Limestone Coast community was a tremendous help to the charity.

“It is a great community but there are also people in the region who need help,” she said.

“Some of the best feedback we’ve had is from children we’ve helped on the Limestone Coast. One child was so excited to have their own toothbrush and toothpaste because they were not allowed to have these things for themselves when they were removed from their unsafe home.

“It’s those little things which make the biggest difference, and these backpacks go a long way to supporting local children who are in a crisis.”

Pioneers Basketball Club president Tom Kosch said the club was humbled to be involved.

“We have been proud to partner with OneFortyOne since the company came on board as a Platinum Partner in 2018 and we are even prouder to be involved together in something as special as this to help vulnerable children,” he said.

The auction will be held via OneFortyOne’s Facebook page from 9am on 16 October until 23 October, with winning bidders to donate directly via direct deposit to Backpacks 4 SA Kids.

The charity supported 540 children its first year in 2012 and has grown to now support more than 6000 children and 1000 carers annually.