In partnership with Australian charity Redkite, Country Road supports everyday families across Australia who hear the devastating news that their child has cancer. Last month Country Road hosted a morning tea to recognise their relationship with Redkite. Here, we chat with Monique Keighery of Redkite to learn more about what it means to provide support to such a special cause.
How does the relationship between Country Road and Redkite work?
For nearly 10 years Country Road has made possible our flagship Red Bag Program, which supports parents across Australia on the first day of their child’s cancer diagnosis. The Red Bag diagnosis packs are given to parents in hospital at this overwhelming time, and contain practical items and information to let them know they are not alone. The beautiful stripy canvas bag designed by Country Road continues to be used by children and parents for lengthy hospital stays and check-ups, often for years afterwards.
Country Road team members feel proud of our partnership and get really involved – eagerly volunteering their time to pack bags, donating with each pay, organising fundraising events throughout the year, and encouraging customers to provide support.
We loved the Christmas collaboration with Miranda Skoczek last year. With proceeds going to Redkite, the specially designed t-shirts and tote bags were a huge hit with Country Road customers, as well as the families we support and Redkite’s donors.
Have there been many moments that have had great impact on you while working at Redkite?
Almost every day I’m reminded of the value of Redkite’s essential support programs for families and I’m inspired to do more. In my 11 years at Redkite I have had the privilege of meeting so many families and their children who have courageously shared their stories to help others on the same difficult journey.
The generous support of businesses like Country Road and caring individuals in communities across Australia is amazing. Given Redkite receives no government funding for our critical work, they ensure we can be there when young people with cancer and families need it most.
Are the bags well received by the families facing cancer?
You only have to read our social media posts about the Red Bags to understand what they mean to families. The practical items hit the mark and the bag itself is loved, but more than that they show families that others are thinking of them on the first, distressing day of diagnosis. The bag links them to Redkite’s other essential programs, and it becomes a symbol of hope and support through the cancer journey. One mum told us the bag was “like a warm hug” and another recently summed it up saying “at a hard and lonely moment... it is a never-forget moment.”