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$700,000 emergency support and community grants announced in the wake of COVID-19

A record number of charities will receive a hand up to continue their important work in the community, as Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland provides close to $700,000 in emergency support and Community Grants in the wake of COVID-19.

COVID-19 Emergency Grants totalling almost $600,000 have been provided to ten charities to help them continue their services and to meet emerging needs as a result of the pandemic.

Five of the organisations to benefit are grassroots charities identified by Freemason Lodges. While some of Hand Heart Pocket’s charity partners have received more substantial and flexible support such as Murilla Community Centre in Miles, Vanguard Laundry Services in Toowoomba, Bloomhill Cancer Care on the Sunshine Coast and COUCH Wellness Centre in Cairns.

A further fifteen grassroots charitable initiatives identified by Freemason Lodges will share in just over $120,000 as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2020 Grassroots Community Grants round.

These grants provide a cash boost of up to $10,000 for qualifying grassroots charitable initiatives identified by Freemason Lodges across Queensland and in Papua New Guinea that support youth at risk, our ageing population, men’s mental and physical health and women’s financial and physical security.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the Freemason charity had provided additional funding in the form of COVID-19 Emergency Grants and had increased its funding for its annual Community Grants in response to current community needs.

“We are committed to ensuring our charity partners, as well as grassroots charities, can continue providing support to the community during this challenging time and achieve their planned outcomes over the long-term,” Gary said.

Eight Central West Queensland charities received the lion’s share of funds with just over $200,000 being distributed in this region. One of the COVID-19 Emergency Community Grant recipients, Kaloma Home for the Aged, will purchase equipment such as iPads, to help keep the aged residents connected during this difficult time.

Six Western Queensland charities such as Emerald PCYC and Charleville Neighbourhood Centre received a share in almost $40,000. Emerald PCYC will use its grant to invest in new equipment and fit out a new space to run their enhanced program for at-risk young people on community service orders.

The Wide Bay region was gifted just over $32,000 with three charitable initiatives benefiting including the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Bundaberg, who received a COVID-19 Emergency Grant to purchase equipment and supplies to help reduce the risk for staff and patients during the pandemic.

North Queensland’s Joyful Foundation received $10,000 along with $106,000 in COVID-19 emergency support to COUCH Wellness Centre in the Far North.

Three Sunshine Coast causes shared in almost $210,000 worth of support, including a COVID-19 Emergency Grant to Bloomhill Cancer Care to help them navigate the pandemic.

Hand Heart Pocket’s COVID-19 Emergency Grants will continue to be awarded until the end of June.

“We maintain our commitment to helping our state-wide charity partners during this difficult time and will continue to work with Freemason Lodges to identify grassroots charitable initiatives that require emergency support,” Gary said.

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