Message from our board chair:
We remain fiercely committed to developing new ways to be Australia’s leading support provider for families with premature and sick babies, and I am pleased to say we are really kicking goals.
Our most recent Walk For Prems event smashed our ‘stretch goal’ of $330,000 and raised $391,000 across 12 locations. Walk for Prems showcases the strength of our Life’s Little Treasures Foundation (LLTF) community and is our major fundraiser for the year.
Other key achievements for the year include:
• LLTF NICU Connections program expanded with and relaunched under the banner of ‘NICU Food from the Heart’. Based on the premise that food brings people together, and that you can’t look after others without looking after yourself. The program is currently in three forms – the NICU Dads nights provides dinner for dads in NICU as they visit their babies, the Brekkie Bar provides free breakfast bars in NICU parent rooms and our NICU Connections Morning tea events that are hosted in hospital and are facilitated by trained peer support volunteers.
• Moving to bigger and brighter premises that allows for our ongoing growth.
• Expansion into ten more hospitals and truly cementing ourselves as a national organisation.
• More than 4,500 gifts distributed nationally for Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas, which reminds our immediate community that we are thinking of them.
• More than 10,000 tip sheets, and 4,000 Special Care Nursery Booklets and NICU Guiding Hand folders distributed.
• More than 50 families benefiting from the financial assistance program. This provides petrol and food vouchers to struggling families with babies in NICU or Special Care, and is particularly helpful for families who may be staying away from home during this time.
• More than 800 families supplied with free premature baby nappies through our online nappy program which is supported by Huggies.
But the success of LLTF is so much more than stats and facts. All our volunteers are so very appreciated, and the board is ensuring we are resourced to make it a rewarding and worthwhile experience with the new Volunteer Coordinator appointed, and Better Impact IT system to ensure best practice in volunteer management.
Shusannah Morris our CEO was also one of 25 deserving winners of Pro Bono Australia’s annual Impact 25 Awards for 2018. The Award recognises those who advocate for the disadvantaged and whose actions embody the characteristics that fall under the pillars of ‘innovation’, ‘influence’, ‘collaboration’ and ‘catalyst’. Shusannah is all that to us and even more – we can’t thank her enough for what she does for us.
Seeing our partnerships strengthen. Merryn Csincsi, our Business Development Manager, has done a full-time job in just two days a week, her enthusiasm is clearly contagious, and it always amazes us at the opportunities she presents for us.
We have continued our partnerships with Baby Bunting, Britax, Medela, Earlybirds, and Huggies with great success. We have also welcomed Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, which launched this year in the Australian market and is a natural extension for the Better Homes and Gardens brand.
We’ve seen the expansion of all our products and services provided by the foundation through the tireless and committed work of our Products and Services Manager Karen Peters.
With a bit more LLTF experience under my belt, I can confidently say the next 12 months will be as busy, if not busier than the last. We don’t see a decline anytime soon for our services, and we know that our family-centred approach to care is key to our success.
None of the above could be achieved without the tireless work of our 75-plus quality volunteers, our amazing part-time staff that gave so much more than the hours they were paid, and our fearless CEO Shusannah. We are all so grateful for your time, commitment, expertise and passion.
Thank you to everyone who has been involved with Life’s Little Treasures Foundation, from fellow board members, management, volunteers, staff, supporters and suppliers to our families and friends who have been generous in their time and energy to support this cause.
I look forward to what 2020 has to bring,
Chriss Mannix (Chair – LLTF)