Our community digs deep to help local babies 

Our Community Cares is a local volunteer-based charity focussed on helping the Penrith  community. All money raised stays within the community to finance programs for the area’s lonely, infirmed, aged and young adults, with no costs for wages or committee payments.

Each year they run gift wrapping stalls at both Nepean Village and Westfield Penrith, for Christmas, Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. 

This year they decided that the funds raised would be directed to helping prevent blindness in local babies. 

“With wonderful support from management at both venues, we set about trying to raise as much as possible from gold coin donations for each gift wrapped,” said Kris Gauci.

“Following three weeks of intense Christmas wrapping by our amazing volunteers and with outstanding generosity from the community we raised an amazing $39,692.

“At the same time, we also benefited from the highly successful ‘Carols on the Course’ event held at Emu Sports Club/Leonay Golf Course in December, being presented with a cheque for $15,000.

“Combining these two amazing fundraisers has meant that we reached our $50,000 target and can very proudly say to the people of Penrith  – Congratulations… together, we did it!

With the whopping $50,000 goal achieved, Our Community Cares want to thank every single person who had gifts wrapped and everyone who stopped by and gave a donation. 

“Some were as high as $1150, others equally special came from children who donated their pocket money,” Kris said.

“We also thank the outstanding management of Westfield Penrith, Nepean Village and Emu Sports Club for their generous support and cooperation in making this heart-warming result possible.”

The project which will be the beneficiary of the funds materialised between Nepean Hospital and Our Community Cares last year.  They initially discussed a proposed project regarding the purchase of a vital piece of laser surgery equipment for premature babies in NICU back in August 2022.  This equipment would be used to potentially help prevent blindness in these tiny babies.

“We then held a special team meeting in early November to discuss our ability to help support them via fundraising activities to raise the $50,000 needed,” Kris said.

 “The team agreed unanimously – it was clear to us that the comfort and safety of these small babies would be significantly improved if this vital equipment were available here in Penrith removing the need for additional handling and transporting of the babies to other hospitals across Sydney for surgery, all which places extra stress on their tiny bodies.

“We want to say that we look forward to seeing all those friendly faces again next year when hopefully we will be back with a new project/goal that will benefit the community of Penrith.

“Finally, and very importantly, we want to thank the volunteers who wrapped with us right across those three weeks, their time and efforts were critical to our success and we appreciate each of them.”