Piece by piece
Making a tangible difference with the Humpty Dumpty Foundation.
There’s nothing more precious than our children, and the good eggs at the Humpty Dumpty Foundation are dedicated to ensuring hospitals caring for seriously ill or injured children have the equipment each child needs to make a full recovery.
14 August, 2019
Humpty has made it easy for people to give and to know exactly where their donation is going
There’s an innate need in all of us to give to those less fortunate. And yet so often people don’t, because they’re uncertain of where their charity might go or they’re unsure of where to give in order to really make a difference. That’s where the Humpty Dumpty Foundation, who are celebrating their 29th year, have done things a little differently. Humpty, as it’s affectionately referred to, connects donors with the immediate equipment needs of over 400 hospitals across Australia. It is a community effort, and because it relies on the community, to essentially provide for the community, Humpty is a family in its own right; albeit with a few familiar faces such as Ray Martin AM, Jane Flemming OAM and Phil Kearns AM around the table.
Humpty has made it easy for people to give and to know exactly where their donation is going. Transparency in the shape of their breakthrough fundraising 'Wish List', is woven into the fabric of the Humpty Dumpty Foundation model. Each item that appears on the Wish List is specifically required by a hospital to meet an immediate need. Humpty Founder and Executive Chairman Paul Francis explains:
“Initially, we were doing what every other charity does when they have a function; fundraising through auctions and raffles; we would then buy equipment with the money we’d raised. Then I thought, what if instead of us buying the equipment, we have a list from the hospital that we publish and talk people through at our function. It was quite a gamble because, previously you could buy a trip to Wimbledon or with this model you could buy a piece of equipment.”
That very first Wish List included equipment that amounted to approximately thirty-two thousand dollars. Every item on the list was purchased within the first two minutes of the fundraiser. Needless to say, donors were more than happy to swap a chance to go to Wimbledon, with an opportunity to make a difference then and there.
“It’s a strength of the charity and the reason why more and more people are getting involved and staying involved. They see outcomes. They purchase a piece of equipment, it has their name on it - or a specific dedication on the plaque - and they can come to the hospital and see the piece of equipment operating,” Francis says.
In the last five years alone, through the support of donors, the foundation has been able to purchase over 2000 pieces of vital medical equipment.
“People can identify with a particular hospital they want to support and if it’s not on the list, we can go to that hospital and say ‘tell us what you need because we’ve got a donor that wants to buy a piece of equipment up to a certain value’. And they all need equipment, it doesn’t matter what state they’re in, these hospitals are all desperate,” says Francis.
The life saving stories from hospitals that have received help through Humpty’s initiatives are many; as are the heartbreaking stories of those innocent young lives lost because a hospital simply didn’t have the right piece of equipment. “It’s life or death every day. These nurses and doctors are on the front line and quite often they’ve got one hand tied behind their back because they just don’t have the equipment they need to fully handle a situation,” says Francis.
While the needs are vast in our major cities, they also transcend metropolitan hospitals; indeed, health care services in rural and remote areas need urgent help. It’s essential for health care providers in remote areas to be able to fully tend to their young patients locally. While flying patients to metropolitan hospitals can and does help save lives, when floods ensue or a hospital simply doesn’t have the equipment required to safely transfer a patient, young lives are lost and families are left shattered.
In the last five years alone, the foundation has been able to purchase over 2000 pieces of vital medical equipment
When it comes to rural and remote hospitals, the more we can do within a reasonable location close to their homes, the better it is for everybody
“When it comes to rural and remote hospitals, the more we can do within a reasonable location close to their homes, the better it is for everybody. If a child can have their whole family around them, the better their recovery is going to be,” says Francis.
The Audi Foundation proudly supports the incredible work done by the Humpty Dumpty Foundation. In the last few years the Audi Foundation has purchased equipment for 17 (principally rural) hospitals. Naturally the Humpty Dumpty Foundation needs more support. They receive more and more requests from hospitals daily, and a Wish List Committee made up of Senior Medical Administrators, Clinical Specialists and an ex-government official have the difficult task of prioritising what appears on the Wish List at any given time. Awareness is a huge factor in generating support from donors, and over the next 12 months the Humpty Dumpty Foundation will spread their message across a number of initiatives – including The Great Humpty Ball this coming November in Sydney which will celebrate Humpty’s 30th Birthday, and the impending and much loved Balmoral Burn which will celebrate its 20th year in May 2020.
Each individual piece of equipment makes a real and tangible difference – again and again. It’s painstaking work, but the good eggs at the Humpty Dumpty Foundation are providing invaluable help in putting little lives together again.
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