Staff forgo social beers to buy child a wheelchair
A TEAM of supermarket staff with big hearts are using their social club funds to buy a young boy a wheelchair.
June Waite's grandson Kalani Auld, 10, suffers from Cerebral Palsy and learning difficulties. She has been his carer since he was one year old.
He was recently discharged from hospital in Brisbane without a wheelchair, but Coles staff have come to his rescue, donating $750 towards one.
"He's had a lot of surgery, and he's required assistance since he was little," she said.
Ms Waite and Kalani's needs had changed as he grew, and she can no longer lift him safely.
"He's a delightful little boy, he just needs a lot of help," Ms Waite said.
The funds would be used to help pay for a wheelchair and a shower seat.
Ms Waite said after a recent operation Kalani had gone 10 weeks without a shower.
"I showed him...I said, 'you can have the best showers, and you can have lots of rides, and go outside'," she said.
"We can go to the park and have fun, and that's what he loves to do."
Maroochydore MP Fiona Simpson said the state-managed health system was in urgent need of change to stop children like Kalani slipping through the cracks.
"The truth is we still need a better system for hospitals, to not discharge children when they need support," Ms Simpson said.
"The health department dropped the ball on this, but thankfully the community has picked it up."
Coles Mooloolaba manager Sharon Wilson said she was touched by the boy's struggle and suggested her team help him.
"Coles staff have sales challenges...the store that sells the most percentage (of a product) gets a gift for their social club," she said.
When the team won $750 through a sales challenge, Ms Wilson asked whether anyone was keen to help the boy, and was astounded that everyone agreed.
"It's extremely rewarding," she said.
"I'm very proud to think...that they would donate that money instead of us using it ourselves. It's so great to be able to help someone in need."