Coast kids benefit from back-to-school donation

Coast kids benefit from back-to-school donation

As one of the Sunshine Coast’s longest-standing businesses, Hall commemorated 75 years in business in 2021 through the donation of 75 back-to-school packs to local charity SunnyKids.

The backpacks are being distributed to children who have been impacted by domestic violence and economic hardship.

Hall CEO Cameron Hall said the donation was made in honour of his late grandfather, Hall Contracting Founder Les Hall.

“My grandfather was raised in poverty, suffered from polio and had a very limited education, but despite his challenging start to life, he managed to establish Hall and develop it into a thriving business,” Cameron said.

“His success is testament to the potential that exists within all of us, so as Hall marked its 75th year in business, we thought it was only fitting to lend a helping hand to local youth facing challenging circumstances.

“I’m incredibly proud of the legacy my grandfather created and know he would be thrilled to see how the company has evolved over the years, having grown from such humble beginnings into Australia’s largest dredging contractor.”

Cameron said each back-to-school pack included a backpack, pencil case, drink bottle and stationery, as well as a $100 Rebel voucher to help with the cost of school shoes and sporting equipment.

“We compiled packs for Prep students, right through to those sitting their Queensland Certificate of Education with the hope of easing some of the pressure on Sunshine Coast families in need.”

SunnyKids General Manager Kathleen Hope said the donation had been gratefully received ahead of the 2022 school year, with demand for domestic violence support services having surged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At one point during the pandemic, we recorded a 48 per cent increase in requests for assistance, which sadly highlights how prevalent domestic violence is within our community,” Kathleen said.

“Many women and children who have experienced family and domestic violence flee with very few belongings, so these backpacks have been a welcome addition to families making a fresh start.”

Kathleen said the backpacks had also assisted in providing students with a sense of belonging in the school community.

“Children impacted by economic hardship can often feel ostracised or embarrassed amongst their peers if they lack basic resources or have to come to school with a bag or shoes that are falling apart,” she said.

“For a child who may have had to carry pencils to school in a plastic bag, being able to pull out a pencil case in their favourite colours or prints can make such a marked difference to their confidence levels.

“Education plays such a critical role in breaking the cycle of disadvantage, so providing students with access to resources like this can help to encourage them to stay in school and achieve their full potential.”

SunnyKids assists approximately 1,000 vulnerable children each year, providing thousands of nights of emergency accommodation, as well as counselling, domestic violence support, mentoring programs and more.

Hall is a proud member of SunnyKid’s P100 corporate giving program.