Small change makes big difference to sick kids

Published 9:00am 12 October 2023

Small change makes big difference to sick kids
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Burpengary toddler Harley Rigby will inspire Queenslanders to turn their small change into support for sick kids, becoming the face of this year’s Woolworths Small Change Appeal to help raise money for the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

From now until October 24, customers shopping at Woolworths supermarkets in Queensland will have the option to round up their shop at self-checkouts or purchase a $2 appeal token at serviced check-outs.

Harley’s mum Lisa McColl, hopes sharing her son’s story will encourage the community to dig deep to help other sick children and their families.

When she was 22 weeks pregnant, Lisa and her partner Curtis Rigby discovered their unborn baby had been diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), one of the rarest and most severe heart defects.

They were given three options for their baby – termination of the pregnancy, palliative care, or three staged open-heart surgeries that had the potential of life-long difficulties.

Lisa and Curtis decided to give Harley a fighting chance with the staged surgeries. By the time he was five months old Harley had already undergone two open-heart surgeries.

Harley will require a third surgery when he is aged between three and five years old.

“For heart kids like Harley, going home is often just the start of long journey – he needs to regularly return to hospital for appointments to monitor his cardiac function, cardiac valves, blood oxygen saturations, growth and developmental progress,” Lisa says.

“He will need at least one more open-heart surgery in his life, and we want to do everything we can to support him when this operation happens.”

Small change makes big difference to sick kids

How you can help

Woolworths customers can support the Children’s Hospital Foundation at all stores across Queensland from now until Tuesday, October 24.

All money raised through the appeal, by customers rounding up their shop or purchasing a $2 appeal token, will help the Children’s Hospital Foundation buy equipment, support research and provide support for sick Queensland children and their families.

Woolworths General Manager Queensland Danny Baldwin says the company is “grateful” for the community’s support.

“We are extremely grateful to our customers in Queensland for their generosity,” Danny says.

“We continue to see strong momentum for the Small Change Appeal from the local community each year, which has had a huge impact across the state to fund services and equipment for the Children’s Hospital Foundation as they continue to help kids thrive.”

Children’s Hospital Foundation CEO Lyndsey Rice says the partnership between the hospital and Woolworths began more than three decades ago.

“Since this very special partnership began back in 1986, Woolworths customers have helped change the lives of thousands of sick Queensland kids and contributed more than $65 million to the Children’s Hospital Foundation,” Lyndsey says.

“A $2 donation on check-out can make a huge impact for sick kids and we are incredibly humbled to have the support of the Woolworths community this October.”


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