Wednesday 19th July was the day when thousands of people took a moment out from their busy routines to lend a hand, no matter how small, to help their fellow man.
From small gestures such as buying a coffee for a stranger to helping out at a school for the disabled and baking pies for the homeless, the good deeds were countless and they’ve been shared and celebrated on social media in a remarkable groundswell of goodwill.
DoSomething Day is an initiative of NewsLocal, the DoSomething charity founded by Jon Dee and ClubsNSW whose member clubs organised a range of events to give back to the community.
It was Australia’s biggest celebration of community volunteering and random acts of kindness. Community activities throughout the day including cleaning up local beaches, feeding the homeless, planting trees and book swaps.
“Here at the DoSomething charity, we’re really grateful to NewsLocal and ClubsNSW for making DoSomething Day such a big success.”
ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball said he was extremely proud of the efforts made by their member clubs for DoSomething Day 2017.
“It was an enormous success. Clubs right across the state got involved by holding charity drives, hosting lunches for volunteer groups, and donating their time to local charities,” Mr Ball said.
“Clubs are committed to making valuable contributions to their communities, so it was a great fit for the industry to give their best and get behind this celebration of volunteering, donating and acts of kindness.”
2GB radio host Ben Fordham got into the spirit of DoSomething Day, doing a live broadcast from Revesby Workers’ Club from 3pm-6pm.
Club members snapped up Ben’s Bangers, a special sausage cooked up on the day with the proceeds of gold coin donations going to the Asbestos Diseases Foundation, matched dollar for dollar by ClubsNSW.
At St Johns Park Bowling Club fellow chefs Sammy and Bella from My Kitchen Rules also had their aprons on for DoSomething Day baking a giant savoury pie.
“If a hug was a food, it would taste like a pie,” said Bella.
The food was being handed out to the homeless by the charities Oz Harvest and Father Chris Riley’s Youth Off The Streets.
Back in the CBD, Club York teamed up with former Masterchef contestant and Chef’s Table Judge Courtney Roulston to serve a hot breakfast for clients of The Station Drop In Centre.
However, few activities could match the joy brought on by the surprise Christmas in July party held for sick children and their families at Ronald McDonald House in Westmead.
Castle Hill RSL, Parramatta RSL and Lynwood Country Club, together with former Parramatta Eel Nathan Hindmarsh; staff from NewsCorp Australia papers the Hills Shire Times, Rouse Hill Times and Parramatta Advocate; and Event Cinemas Castle Hill and Parramatta, transformed Ronald McDonald House into a Christmas wonderland.
The children and their families returned from their hospital treatments to the surprise party, taking part in Christmas cookie decorating, Christmas pizza making, a candy bar, Christmas craft, face painting, balloons, entertainers, presents and, of course, a visit from the man in red himself, Santa.
Ronald McDonald House Westmead Executive Officer Belinda Woolford said the charity relies heavily on community and corporate support to keep their doors open 365 days of the year.
“Having a group like Castle Hill RSL donate their time to host a Winter Wonderland-themed dinner means that families with seriously ill children won’t have to come home to the stress of worrying about preparing a healthy dinner, but it also brings a sense of fun and normalcy to the House as the kids play together,” she said.
Sources: Daily Telegraph / NewsLocal / Melanie Morson, Group Corporate & Community Relations Manager Castle Hill RL Group