Redkite has been dealt a million-dollar COVID revenue blow amid spikes in service demands.
The combined impact of a significant revenue drop and an increased demand for essential services from children with cancer and their families, has forced leading children’s cancer charity Redkite to launch its first major national fundraising campaign targeted at the Australian community.
Like most in Australia’s Not For Profit sector, Redkite was dealt a significant financial blow by COVID-19, losing more than $1 million in revenue just from its flagship annual fundraising events – The Redkite Corporate Quiz nights. For the past two decades, the nights have traditionally been held in major capital cities around the country at this time of the year.
At the same time – and as a direct result of COVID-19 – the charity faced an unprecedented spike in demand for the practical, emotional, and financial support it offers children with cancer and their families whose stress levels were amplified due to the extra health risks it presented for children with cancer.
This has prompted Redkite to embark on its first ever week-long national appeal to the Australian community, the ‘$24FOR24’ kids cancer fundraising campaign which kicks off tomorrow, November 18.
Redkite CEO Monique Keighery said that demand for counselling and support services increased by more than 30 per cent and requests for financial assistance were up by more than 15 per cent, as many already stretched families fell victim to COVID economic woes.
“COVID-19 has doubled the impact on us. Not only did it result in the funds we traditionally raise and receive being cut significantly, it also meant that the families we serve needed our essential support more than ever,” Ms Keighery said.
“While the financial impacts of COVID saw many charity organisations withdraw programs and find themselves unable to deliver some services, this was not an option for us. Every Redkite service is essential for young Australians up to 18 years-old and their families as they live through the challenges of childhood cancer.
“As if having a child with cancer isn’t already tough enough, the COVID-19 overlay has been devastating for these families on so many levels. This has seen them need Redkite’s support more than ever.
“The reality is when you have a child with cancer, the demands are 24/7. Often all parents can think about is getting through a day at a time and the demands are unrelenting. The additional stress of COVID only amplifies the challenges these families face every 24 hours, and the stories are heartbreaking.”
In a bid to bridge this gap between funds available and service demand, Redkite has launched its first ever national public appeal.
The ‘$24FOR24’ kids cancer fundraising campaign urges all Australians to donate $24 to help families facing childhood cancer get through another challenging 24 hours, with the charity hoping to raise at least $500,000.
“By giving just $24, you can help families like the Pedersen family, whose daughter Scout was diagnosed with Leukemia earlier this year, with the daily challenges they face.
“The funds can help us deliver essentials including fuel vouchers to help them meet the cost of the regular travel to and from hospital, through to counsellors who can provide much needed support at the hospital bedside to get them through the next 24 hours.”
The Pedersen family’s lives were turned upside down when, already struggling with the challenges of the pandemic, they were advised of young Scout’s diagnosis.
The following weeks were a blur for mother Noelle, who didn’t step foot in her home for 60 days after Scout’s diagnosis. They were spent right by her side, while relying on family and friends to look after her two other young children.
Almost a year on, the disbelief has worn off, but the illness and the challenges of cancer on the whole family remains. Today, they regularly travel two hours in traffic from their home to the children’s hospital, so Scout can receive the best treatment possible.
Australians can donate to the ‘$24FOR24’ kids cancer campaign to ensure children with cancer and their families can continue to receive the essential support they need by visiting www.redkite.org.au/24for24
- Creative agency: Yonder
- Media buying: OMD