A few years ago, when I first spoke to our partner the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and asked where we could best help the communities they serve, their response was clear and immediate.
Rural Australia was in serious need of automated external defibrillators (also known as AEDs, or put simply, ‘defibrillators’).
As a valuable innovation device that saves lives, RFDS stated that there simply weren’t enough in remote Australian locations.
It got me thinking – when you imagine your own workplace, local club, favourite restaurant or community area, chances are they’re already equipped with defibrillators.
Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in Australia, after all. It’s also the most common reason for RFDS medical evacuations in rural and remote Australian communities.
Fortunately, survival rates dramatically increase when a person has access to a defibrillator in the early stages of cardiac arrest.
That’s when I realised – fundraising for defibrillators was definitely the way to go.
This was in 2017.
TAL thus begun our nation-wide campaign and fundraised for defibrillators. We surpassed all expectations by raising enough for 80 life-saving devices across remote South Australia!
And then, late last year in 2018, our TAL family once again put their muscle behind fundraising to help our country cousins. This time, we raised $65,420, enough to purchase 46 defibrillators on behalf of TAL, which will help save the lives of outback Queenslanders.
Like the RFDS, TAL has a proud history of being there for Australians when they need us most.
That’s why it was a no-brainer for us to develop a second campaign to fundraise and help RFDS purchase these pieces of life-saving equipment.
I could not be prouder of how our people rallied in support to fundraise for one common, noble cause. I was also constantly in awe at how we created the most unique and innovative activities!
Every day I would come in to work to find a new poster advertising another initiative in support of the RFDS, and it made me proud.
Ultimately, the TAL Community Foundation matched staff’s fundraising efforts dollar for dollar. Across the two years, I’m delighted to say that our total contribution amounts to 126 defibrillators.
I find it very satisfying helping others less fortunate in our communities.
I know if someone in my family needed assistance while in the outback, I could rest in the knowledge that the RFDS would be there to help.
You never know. One day it could be you or me.