In mid-November, Marketing and Public Relations student and all-round good guy James Day joined the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation as…
Vern and Lorraine are the longest standing volunteers at Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation.
They have taken part in nearly every event and fundraising activity throughout their time as volunteers, which spans just over 17 years!
Vern was the first of the pair to start volunteering for the Foundation in 1999 after seeing an advertisement in the paper looking for help. After a little handyman work and some data entry in the Foundation office (which at the time was in the Princess Margaret Hospital admin building), Vern found the opportunity worthwhile and encouraged Lorraine to join the cause one year later.
Vern and Lorraine are both regulars in the Foundation office, coming in every Friday to help out and doing it with welcoming, friendly smiles on their faces and always a story or two to tell.
To the Foundation, Vern and Lorraine are invaluable and indispensable; we estimate that together they have volunteered over 8000 hours of their time! The duo have found that volunteering has required much effort, however that input is always followed by worthwhile output in expressions of gratitude and lifelong friendships.
“It’s just the people we are, we like to help I suppose, we like to be doing things and helping at the same time. We really feel like we get more out of it than we give. It’s just feels right to be helping with something,” explains Vern (with Lorraine nodding in agreement).
What they’ve done
Throughout their journey Vern and Lorraine have volunteered to do numerous activities including vital office tasks such as; data entry, craft preparation, stock taking, re-branding merchandise and preparing donation receipts.
In fact we estimate that they have prepared over 15,000 envelopes a year for at least 16 years, that’s almost a quarter of a million letters!
They have also been a big part of fundraising events including Wear a Bear Day, Raffle ticket sales, Bunday at PMH, the John Hughes Big Walk, our Christmas Lights campaign and gift wrapping.
On top of volunteering at the Foundation, Vern has volunteered for eight years at the City of Perth Lions Club Computer Recycling Project, preparing computers for third world countries.
Both Vern and Lorraine have also contributed as proof readers for the Western Australia Genealogical Society for a total of nine years, and we applaud their commitment to other causes.
Wearing the colours with pride
Their commitment to volunteering can be seen in their unmatched collection of Foundation-branded apparel and memorabilia. Vern can nearly always be found in one of his many Foundation shirts from throughout the years – each featuring the different versions of Stitches the Bear (our mascot) we’ve had over the years. They have also collected every single copy of our newsletter, Bear Facts along with a scrapbook of photos and news articles from their time as volunteers.
If ever we have a question about the early days of the Foundation, it’s Vern and Lorraine we ask as they’ve been around the longest!
Vern and Lorraine are worth their weight in gold to the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation and we are privileged to have them involved as volunteers with so many of our events and fundraising activities.
We proudly nominated the pair for the Fundraising Institute of Australia WA’s Volunteer of the Year award earlier this year as a mark of their legendary commitment and they took out the top prize alongside two volunteers from Ronald McDonald House. (Lorraine and Vern are pictured above with their award).
While they are now officially award winners, they have always been and will always be true winners in our eyes. Thank you Vern and Lorraine for your amazing contribution!
If you would like to get involved in our volunteering like these legends please visit our volunteer page.