Sometimes it’s a few small acts of kindness that help make something bigger possible.
In May of 2017 VCE Frances Pelgrave from Lake Eacham RFB approached the RFBAQ with the idea of Bushy magnets to help kids in rural areas remember their phone number and address when they needed to call 000.
Both the RFBAQ and RFSQ saw merit in the idea, and the rest as they say is history. In July 2017, 1,500 magnets were on their way to help make Far Northern communities safer.
Fast forward less than 12 months and with the magnets proving to be a huge success stocks were running low.
“Each time we have a face to face contact with Grey Nomads … we ask them about their grand kids – how many families of them do you have? – do you do any grand child minding? – and hand over the appropriate number of magnets, after explaining how to use them. The universal response to the explanation has been, ‘What a great idea!’, which is so rewarding.” explained Frances. “The magnets carried by the Grey Nomads go to their families all around Australia”.
Frances and Lake Eacham submitted a grant application for an additional supply of 3,000 magnets, which was supported in full at the RFBAQ General Meeting in May.
3,000 fridge magnets however is a rather heavy load, and getting them all the way to Lake Eacham proved problematic. Enter Geoff Hogan, volunteer with Lake Eacham RFB and Barrine RFB who in his spare time works in the transport sector. “Paul from Exodas Transport will be passing through Gympie at midnight next Wednesday – you just need to find a truck stop willing to look after the magnets until then”.
The clear choice was the Gold Nugget Roadhouse, a long-time favourite of truckies, travellers and locals. No sooner had we explained the idea of the Bushy magnets (kids, rural fire brigades – what more do you need to know?!) we were graciously offered a secure space to store the heavy load.
“Operation Fantastic Freight has been a resounding success!” exclaimed Frances only a few days later. “…the new supply has been most timely. The Ag. Show and festival season is just about ready to kick off here, and many more magnets are given out there.”
What a great example of Queenslanders helping each other out toward a fantastic goal.
Geoff Hogan of Lake Eacham and Barrine RFBs unloads the 3,000 Bushy magnets
(Including a sneaky plug for our latest issue of Smoke Signals!).
Frances Pelgrave (VCE Coordinator for Tablelands and Lake Eacham RFB volunteer) demonstrates the magnets to Tamzin Hardy.