Above: Volunteers from Zion Bargain Centre in Nundah, Brisbane, with the new bus they provided for Zion Lutheran Home as a result of their fundraising efforts.
Staff, residents and community supporters of Zion Lutheran Home are celebrating the purchase of a new set of wheels, the culmination of a two-year fundraising effort.
About 40 altruistic volunteers from Brisbane’s northern suburbs raised $70,000 over two years, which bought the residents freedom in the form of a Toyota HiAce nine-seater bus.
Residents of the home, located in the Brisbane suburb of Nundah, have already enjoyed their first outing in their new wheelchair-friendly bus, to a local park last Thursday.
Beryl Mahoney, 90, said she enjoyed her trip and was looking forward to many more future outings and adventures.
“It was out of this world,” Ms Mahoney said. “The drive was smooth and the passengers enjoyed it. It’s great we will be able to do trips like this more often.”
Lutheran Community Care, which runs the residential aged care facility, issued a statement thanking the volunteers for their “massive fundraising effort”.
The fundraising took place at Zion Bargain Centre, which sells donated pre-loved goods such as clothing, books and collector’s items. Each volunteer works two shifts a week and many have been involved for more than 20 years.
Lorraine Daly, 72, is one of the volunteers committed for the long haul. Each Monday she leaves her home in Kallangur, about 25 kilometres away, at 5.30am to itemise and price goods at the Nundah op-shop.
“Many positive things have come from volunteering for me like friendships, self-confidence and a sense of fulfilment from helping the community,” Ms Daly said.
“The money has gone to a good cause.”
Zion Lutheran Home general manager, Maria Mulheran, personally thanked the volunteers as well for the effort they had put into raising the funds, which she said allowed residents to enjoy outings that would add to their overall wellbeing.
“We are now able to get residents out into the community and give them a variety of different activities to be involved in,” Ms Mulheran said.
The volunteers have raised an average of $35,000 each year, donating goods and services to Zion including beds, wheel chairs and dining room furniture.
Zion Bargain Centre convener, Elizabeth Healy, has been involved with the centre for around 12 years and the manager for more than a year.
Ms Healy expressed her delight at the centre’s most recent achievement.
“It’s great to know we are making such a big difference to people’s lives giving them pleasure, and it’s fun to work here,” she said.
“We always work toward something and we’ve done really well raising money in the past and it was very satisfying to see an outcome like this.”