Cobram’s Bendigo Bank has taken the initiative in its bid to raise funds for the R U OK Foundation, getting to a total of $800 at last count.
Instead of donations going down a one-way path towards the foundation, the bank decided to give back to the community for their donations by allowing them to get goods for their support.
‘‘We decided to bake cakes for the community to purchase for donation efforts, with all proceeds going to support the foundation in achieving its goal,’’ the bank’s Cobram customer relationship officer Sue Clurey said.
‘‘The cakes were baked by staff and friends of the bank and the community getting these goods in return for their support was very well received.
‘‘Being able to give back to the community through the goods for such an important cause was a rewarding experience for all involved and shows how much support there is to fight it.’’
The foundation’s aim is to tackle the complex issue of suicide and showing that even the simple question of ‘‘Are you okay?’’ can go a long way to preventing these deaths from happening.
Finding ways for the community to connect and provide the initiative to show those who are struggling with their lives that they are not alone is where the foundation looks to tackle the issue.
‘‘The response we got from the community was truly fantastic and the support that was given throughout the week was very strong,’’ Ms Clurey said.
‘‘The number of people who are affected by suicide and know people who have gone through its struggle shows how much of a widespread issue it is.
‘‘We need to work towards finding solutions for this issue and we hope fundraising efforts like this can contribute towards those solutions the foundation can put to use.’’
She said giving an issue like this exposure through fundraising programs was the key to bringing its impact on people down as much as possible.
‘‘The more we can make people aware of this issue and the effects it has throughout our communities, the better we are able to tackle it and bring down its impact.
‘‘People need to know they aren’t alone in their struggles and the foundation is key to providing them with that much-needed support.’’
●For 24-hour support, phone Lifeline on 131 114. Children and young adults aged under 25 and also call the Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800.