After COVID-19 changed the way we could commemorate Anzac Day in 2020, this year Coles is helping Aussies across the country to support service men and women by launching a fundraising campaign together with veterans’ support agency Bravery Trust.
From today until Sunday 25 April, when customers purchase a pack of Coles Brand bakery cookies or biscuits, Coles will donate 50 cents to Bravery Trust, with customers also able to make their own donations in-store at the checkout.
Bravery Trust provides financial support to more than 800 veterans and around 3,000 family members of veterans each year to help them with medical fees, food vouchers, energy bills and education costs.
New data from Bravery Trust shows COVID-19 has created significant challenges for veterans and their families, with the organisation receiving 10,000 calls for assistance since the start of the pandemic, and a new 20% surge in requests for assistance since pandemic financial support ended last month.
Coles Group CEO Steven Cain said Coles was delighted to again partner with Bravery Trust to support current and former members of the Australian Defence Force facing hardship.
“As a long-standing Australian business, we sincerely appreciate the service of current and former members of the Australian Defence Force and together with our customers, we want to remember and support service men and women who are facing hardship as a result of injuries or illness from their service,” he said.
“Coles began as a single Melbourne store not long before the First World War in 1914, with our founder GJ Coles volunteering at the age of 32 to serve on the Western Front.”
“Now more than a century later, a number of our team members are active members in the Defence Force Reserve and together with our customers, we have raised more than $5.2 million to support Australian veterans since 2014.”
Bravery Trust CEO Belinda Wilson welcomed the support from Coles and its customers in the lead up to Anzac Day.
“It has also been a very challenging 12 months for many of our veterans who have been impacted by the pandemic, bushfires and recent floods,” Ms Wilson said.
“Bravery Trust has seen an increase in demand for services to provide financial welfare and financial counselling for Australian Defence Force veterans and their families. By providing financial support, it means that the veteran can focus on their wellness journey, employment and their family, without financial pressures.
“We work with the entire family to ensure that they are receiving appropriate and targeted support from all sources, including government assistance. Through personalised financial counselling we can work with families to help them with their long-term budgeting and financial security.”