Coles is driving local fundraising in Benalla for families affected by cancer this Christmas.
Thanks to its partnership with Redkite, Coles will launch a five-week Christmas campaign to help families pay for rising household bills, medical and travel expenses.
Victorian families have faced a 33 per cent hike in the cost of medical and hospital services and a 21 per cent increase in utility costs during the past five years.
From November 1 to December 4, shoppers can purchase $2 donation cards at Coles and Coles Express sites in Benalla with 100 per cent of funds going directly to Redkite.
Redkite provides essential support to children and young people with cancer and their families, from diagnosis, throughout treatment, and after treatment ends.
Redkite chief executive officer Monique Keighery said financial support was even more vital for many families this year who also faced higher travel, medical and living costs after a cancer diagnosis.
‘‘This time of year is especially challenging for children with cancer and their families, with many families needing to take time off work to be at their child’s bedside,’’ Ms Keighery said.
‘‘Cancer doesn’t stop for Christmas, and between Christmas and the new year, around 30 families’ lives will be shattered by the news that their cancer.
‘‘Thanks to the support from Coles and its customers over the past year, Redkite has been able to provide financial assistance to more than 510 families affected by cancer across Victoria.’’
And for the first time, Coles has developed a new range of Redkite Christmas products — from a Belgian choc-pop to a plush toy, mug, sticker book, Christmas cards and more — with funds going directly to Redkite, including 20 cents from the sale of every $1 Coles Gingerbread, Elf and Reindeer biscuits.
Coles state general manager Grant Shelton said Coles was delighted to expand its Christmas appeal to include a new range of festive products and treats, providing more ways for customers to support Redkite this Christmas.
‘‘Cancer touches the hearts of so many of our customers and team members, so we want to give our customers the opportunity to show their support for families in need,’’ Mr Shelton said.
‘‘In addition to our popular gingerbread biscuits and festive $2 donation cards at the checkouts, we’re pleased to launch a brand new range of festive merchandise to help increase awareness and raise much-needed funds for Redkite to continue offering essential services to families in our local communities.’’ child has