A GIANT piggy bank, stretching to three metres in height and weighing in at 700kg, will roll into Inverloch on its way around Victoria to raise $1 million for children with life-threatening conditions.
The annual Very Special Kids Piggy Bank Appeal comes to town with a community fundraising event at Inverloch Lotto this Saturday, September 17.
Lotto staff and a team of volunteers will collect donations and sell cute piggy merchandise.
It has always been a happy stop for the Piggy Bank Appeal, with Inverloch’s business community supporting Inverloch Lotto’s work with donations to help the fundraising effort.
Inverloch Lotto regularly tops the state for funds raised.
Very Special Kids supports 41 families in the Gippsland region, and more than 900 across Victoria, who are caring for children with life-threatening conditions.
The organisation provides 24-hour nursing care at Victoria’s only children’s hospice, as well as professional support services for their families.
A Family Support Practitioner based in Traralgon provides outreach support to families in the Gippsland region including counselling and advocacy, and coordinating local programs and events that provide families the opportunity to meet each other and share information and experiences.
The Young family turned to Very Special Kids to help them care for their daughter Ellie (7), who was born without her right eye, with a cleft lip and other unique facial features.
She has a genetic condition called Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome, which affects her in many ways.
Ellie is nonverbal, is unable to walk un-aided and requires assistance with all her daily needs.
The level of care Ellie requires creates additional challenges for her parents Mel and Luke, as well as their three-year-old son Cooper.
“Very Special Kids Hospice gives us much needed respite. Ellie had only ever previously been looked after overnight by grandparents so this was a huge step for us as a family.
“The carers and nurses made us feel so confident, and we found comfort knowing that Ellie was in great hands,” says Ellie’s mother Mel.
Very Special Kids helps the Young family by providing specialised respite care for Ellie at the children’s hospice, as well as emotional support and guidance for Mel and Luke.
The family is also on a waiting list for a suitable trained home volunteer to support the whole family, with a particular focus on being a special friend for Cooper.
Very Special Kids CEO Michael Wasley says the charity relies on the Victorian community to help continue its services.
“Each year it costs over $7 million to operate Very Special Kids. Without donations from our community we would not be able to continue caring for these brave families.”
The Piggy Trail’s Inverloch stop will be on Saturday, September 17 at Inverloch Lotto from 9am to 1pm. On the day they will have a jumping castle, face painting, second hand book stall and a sausage sizzle as well as the raffle for a Weber BBQ and a slab of Peroni.
Inverloch Lotto has been the highest fund raising outlet for the past 6 years thanks to the support of the fantastic Inverloch community and the staff at Inverloch Lotto.
Tracee Brusamarello encourages customers to drop in any books to add to the book stall and once again help raise money for very special kids.
Support Very Special Kids at Inverloch on Saturday