Care packages support veterans in hospital03 December 2019
A parcel of essential items is an inspired gift of compassion and mateship for veterans in hospital.
Every year, RSL Queensland employees, Sub Branch members and volunteers donate hours of their time to visit veterans in hospital. This gesture of caring and companionship goes a long way for the recipients, many of whom are in hospital for extended periods and have a lot of time to fill.
In 2018, Gold Coast District member Max Greber suggested the idea of developing a small ‘goody bag’ of items to give veterans in hospital.
“Some years ago, we found a number of veterans and war widows were being admitted to the hospital as a result of falls or accidents and had few or no personal items with them,” Max said.
RSL Queensland’s Operations Team thought it was a great idea and assembled several test bags to distribute to Sub Branches.
They contained items including a puzzle book, ANZAC biscuits and essential toiletries. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
“As an example, we visited a 25-year- old female veteran who was medically discharged due to a training accident and resulting back problem,” Max explained.
“A recurrence of the problem resulted in an ambulance trip to hospital with no personal effects. She was most appreciative of a care pack, along with other measures we took to ensure she had everything she needed.”
Following the pilot’s success, RSL Queensland will roll out the Hospital Care Packages project state-wide. The package will contain similar items to the pilot, in addition to the novel After the Blast by Garth Callender, an Australian Army Officer who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Hospital Care Packages will be distributed to each District around the state and then passed on to volunteers who carry out the hospital visits. Contact your District Secretary for more information.
If you are a veteran or a family member of a veteran who would like to get involved and volunteer your time, please contact your local Sub Branch.