Usually, Valentines’ Day is a time to think about someone special to you and show them that you care. This Valentines’ Day, Noela and Bill Philips and the Brisbane High-Rise Rotary Club thought of The School of St Jude!
In partnership with Maison Fleur florists, these super supporters hit the road to deliver beautiful flower arrangements, with a portion of the proceeds, totalling more than AU $1000, donated to St Jude’s.
Noela describes the motivation behind the successful fundraiser, “Brisbane High-Rise Rotary Club has been a long term supporter of St Jude’s. The club members who have visited St Jude’s saw firsthand how poverty strips away educational dreams from children who have a right to learn, to achieve and to live a dignified life. To change a child’s life with education is one of the greatest gifts a Rotary Club can give.”
The florists from Maison Fleur prepared 112 arrangements, each complete with a tag indicating the delivery address and the phone number of the recipient. Then, the Rotary volunteers stepped in, delivered the arrangements by car and on foot all over the Brisbane CBD.
“We are never short of volunteers, such is the enjoyment we get from delivering beautiful arrangements to very surprised recipients,” says Noela.
In addition to this enjoyment, the volunteers also got a lot of exercise on their delivery routes.
“This year, I walked 13 km, however, nobody is expected to do more than they are capable of. Some Rotarians might walk for 1 hour – every little bit helps the St Jude’s cause!” Noela explains.
By the end of the day, the volunteers were exhausted, but felt, “a huge sense of achievement,” says Noela. “Firstly, achievement in the sense that we are helping St Jude’s, secondly, the fact we professionally delivered all our floral arrangements on behalf of Maison Fleur on time and safely, and thirdly, achieving what Brisbane High-Rise Rotarians love doing most - helping others.”
This wasn’t the first fundraiser of its type, in fact, this is the fourth time that Brisbane High-Rise Rotary Club and Maison Fleur have teamed up to raise funds for St Jude’s.
But this isn’t the only way Noela, Bill and their fellow Rotary club members support St Jude’s. The Rotary club sponsors the academic scholarship of Form 5 student, Irene, while Bill and Noela sponsor the academic scholarship of Tumaini, who is in Form 6. When Tumaini graduates from secondary school in May, Noela and Bill will be making the trip to Arusha to celebrate with her.
“I am frankly ‘over the moon’ to think I will be meeting Tumaini in May,” Noela says. “I truly can’t wait for this adventure to commence.”
Since 2012, Noela and Bill have visited St Jude’s six times, bringing 79 friends, family and fellow Rotarians with them, many of whom are now sponsors too!
The School of St Jude is incredibly grateful to Noela, Bill and the teams from Brisbane High-Rise Rotary Club and Maison Fleur for running such a sweet-smelling fundraiser.
Are you inspired by Noela? Well, you can fundraise for St Jude’s too! Download our resources to get started.