A number of families on the Redcliffe peninsula have been given a helping hand with sending their kids to school with the right gear thanks to the team at Coles Kippa-Ring.
Staff at the store spent the last year collecting items such as backpacks, stationery, books, lunchboxes and snacks which they used to make 100 back-to-school packs for struggling families.
The packs — which were distributed by SecondBite across eight schools in the region— represent a donation of more than $3,500 by the Coles Kippa-Ring team, who purchased the bags and their brand-new contents using their own money.
Store Manager Jason Smith said he was “extremely proud” of his employees for their generosity.
“I’m honestly very proud of the team because they have been doing collections for the backpacks for a few years now and have grown from making 11 backpacks to 100,” Jason said.
“What makes this team work hard is knowing their donations went to local kids, which was very important to them.
“All of my team members work extremely hard, so it’s great to recognise them for their efforts.”
Above: Coles Kippa-Ring Store Manager Jason Smith.
Helping to put food on the table
Through SecondBite, Coles at Kippa-Ring is also helping to feed the hungry.
“We have a number of local charities who come and pick up through SecondBite seven days a week,” Jason said.
“All of that food stays in the local area.
“If you go back to 2021, we did about 17,000 meals with SecondBite. In 2022 we did about 47,000 meals. We are half way this financial year and already we have done 47,000 meals, so we will finish this year by almost doubling that.
“It is important our team understands what we can divert and how we can give our food a second life, because that second life gives someone else a helping hand.”
When the store was named Store of the Year in 2022, they donated their $5000 prize to The Breakfast Club Redcliffe - a organisation that provides meals to vulnerable families and individuals.
Giving dignity to the homeless
Jason said he and his team have planned multiple donation drives and fundraisers for the coming year that will help people in need.
“Unfortunately, there are so many people that need a helping hand, and that is only growing,” Jason said.
“I am really passionate about community because at the end of the day we are part of the community - our team members live here, we work here, and our customers live here.
“Giving back to our local community is important to us.”
Currently, the store is collecting personal hygiene products that will be donated to St Vinnies so they can hand out smaller backpacks to people who are homeless or sleeping rough.
A special trolley has been placed at the front of the store where customers can drop off donations such as toothpaste, tooth brushes, hair brushes, combs, hair ties, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, sanitary pads and tampons, continence pads, hand towels, bath towels and face washers.
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