How small business fundraising can make a big difference – Suzanne’s story

Large-LongLogoAs a small business owner we often think we are too small to make a difference. We think “I can’t write a cheque for $100,000 tomorrow so I can’t help” or “my budget is shoestring so nothing I could do would be of interest“.

My name is Suzanne, owner/operator of Tastes of the Hunter Wine Tours in Sydney and I challenge you to think differently.

I don’t see $100,000.
I see 1,000 x $100 donations or 100 donations of $1,000.

Earlier this year we raised $500 for the Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation just by giving a couple of days’ time to run 2 charity wine tours. Thanks so much to Kevin Sobel’s wines and Capercaillie wines for donating bottles of wine and a VIP tour package for an auction that helped us reach this total.

Not bad for just a couple of days out of 365! It’s something every small business could do. And I know personally that it makes a critical difference.

Last year a member of our family, someone who has made a critical difference to my life, received treatment at The Prince of Wales Hospital as an inpatient and then ongoing treatment as an outpatient. The staff were very supportive during treatments (especially supportive of someone with claustrophobia) and also very accommodating in making appointments possible for someone not in the Sydney area to attend more easily.

If you have ever been seriously ill in your life you will know that a smiling face or an extra 10 minutes to psych yourself up for a difficult treatment can make all the difference.

In Australia we take our health system for granted. We expect excellent facilities, doctors and nurses with the best qualifications and experience, state of the art equipment and enough staff to give us the time we need for difficult treatments. Statistically speaking the chances that one of us will need the specialist staff and treatments available at The Prince of Wales Hospital in our lifetime is actually higher than many of us would like to contemplate.

When/if it is ever my turn, I’d love to have the same story to tell as my loved one. The story about the smiling nurse who had the time and the skill to make a difficult treatment easier. But that nurse wouldn’t be able to do as much as he or she does without fundraising. Neither will the skilled and experienced doctors or the state of the art equipment that saves lives.

It is for these reasons I took on the challenge of making fundraising for the Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation a regular part of our business.

In addition to our fundraising tours earlier this year I had a fundraising wine barrel custom made and permanently affixed to the floor of our tour bus. It sits next to the cute cartoon caricature of our bus incorporated into our “Come on board for cancer” promotion logo. Even if a few of our tour guests decided to off-load their annoying and heavy coin change into our donation barrel every tour it would add up to one heavy barrel by the end of the year! I know … I’ve had to lift it!

It doesn’t take much time and energy to make a huge difference to others and with a little creative thinking (rather than a big budget) every small business could be one of 1,000 to raise $100 or 100 businesses who raise $1,000. It’s not too hard – we are half way there already! Whether it is ourselves or a dear loved one, we all want the expert care and facilities like those of The Prince of Wales Hospital to be there for us when we need them so when the time comes we can say “I’m glad things were different” rather than “I wish things were different”.

I’d like my story to challenge other small businesses to be part of the numbers that add up to helping the Prince Of Wales Hospital to deliver the patient care that all our loved ones deserve.

Suzanne Sheldon | Director

Tastes of the Hunter Wine Tours regularly donates to the Prince Of Wales Hospital Foundation through their “Come On Board For Cancer” Research initiative. Just by coming on board and raising a glass you can help us make a difference!