All 226 Victorian Bendigo Bank and Community Bank branches will unite in an effort to raise $50,000 for Bendigo-based national charity, The OTIS Foundation, throughout the month of October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The OTIS Foundation gifts retreat accommodation to people experiencing breast cancer and their loved ones, so they may temporarily escape the psychological and emotional challenges that accompany a breast cancer diagnosis.
To show its support for the organisation, which provides more than 3,500 nights of free accommodation annually to patients and families, Bendigo Bank branches have committed to raising funds for the charity by selling Little Blue Towels, in-branch, throughout October.
This year, Little Blue Towels will be delivered in style to all Bendigo Bank branch network across Victoria via volunteer classic vehicle owners, eager to do their bit for the fundraising effort.
Little Blue Towels, normally discarded after a single use, are cotton towels collected from hospitals in Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT, after they have been used to dry sterilised hands. Instead of going to waste, they are laundered, packaged and recycled by employment enterprises for people with disability in Echuca, Ballarat and Kew. All proceeds raised from the sale of these recycled cotton towels at Bendigo Bank branches across the state will be gifted to The OTIS Foundation.
Justine Minne, State Manager for Regional Victoria, Bendigo Bank said, “The OTIS Foundation provides retreat accommodation at no cost to those dealing with the challenges of breast cancer and the highest percentage possible of all donations goes directly towards providing women diagnosed with – and undergoing treatment – the opportunity to stay at an OTIS Foundation retreat.
“We all know someone who has battled breast cancer, so we encourage everyone in Victoria to visit a Bendigo Bank branch and buy a packet of Little Blue Towels, so that more individuals diagnosed have the opportunity to relax with family and loved ones through what is a very stressful stage in their lives.
“As a principal partner of The OTIS Foundation, Bendigo Bank has gifted almost $1.35 million in funds over the last decade which has helped the organisation cover various administrative and operational costs.
“This year, we’ve also arranged some extra horsepower to assist with the delivery of Little Blue Towels across the state, so as to ensure an adequate supply and to maximise our fundraising push,” Ms Minne concluded.
Lisa Farrar, CEO of OTIS Foundation said: “The Otis Foundation is thrilled that our partnership with Bendigo Bank continues to thrive. The annual Little Blue Towels campaign for breast cancer awareness month is a fixture on the calendar and is getting bigger and better each year. The collaboration between Bendigo Bank, Little Blue Towels and The Otis Foundation is a wonderful virtuous circle that benefits many.
“I am delighted that we now have the Federation of Veteran, Vintage and Classic Car Clubs joining Bendigo Bank, Little Blue Towels and The Otis Foundation to raise funds for breast cancer awareness month.
“The $50,000 Bendigo Bank is aiming to raise for us will allow us to provide over 600 additional nights to people with breast cancer Australia-wide, allowing them a psychological break to enjoy time and create memories with family and friends”, Ms Farrar concluded.
Neil Athorn, President of the Federation of Veteran, Vintage and Classic Car Clubs, said, “Recycled Little Blue Towels just happen to be perfect for polishing chrome and paintwork. Additionally, they provide employment opportunities for people with disability and raise money for the fantastic OTIS Foundation.”
- The recycled towels can be purchased from any Bendigo Bank branch across regional and metropolitan Victoria during October, with proceeds going to The OTIS Foundation.
- Packs of five towels are still just $7, with 100 percent of proceeds from the sale of these recycled towels going to the OTIS Foundation.
- The towels are lint, dust and grit free, absorbent and perfect for polishing cars and bikes, cleaning, camping, golfing or fishing.
The number of women and men being diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia is increasing.
- Australia has one of the best breast cancer survival rates in the world.
- Increasing survival is due to earlier diagnosis through screening and improved treatments.
- More than 19,500 Australians will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019.
- On average, 53 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day.
How the OTIS Foundation helps women undergoing treatment for breast cancer
“Just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for the most wonderful stay at Kez’s last week. We absolutely loved every minute, and I can’t tell you how much of a circuit breaker it was for me from the monotony of chemo. Favourite part was waking up to a fabulous view every morning…Thank you again.” Ruth
“Hi OTIS, Ironically, I’m a Registered Nurse who works with breast cancer reconstruction patients. I never thought I’d be in this situation! St Bernadette’s is EXACTLY what I needed in amongst weekly chemo treatment. It is a beautiful property and I am extremely grateful to the owner for gifting their property for our stay.” Awen
“We had the pleasure of staying at Cullen Bay, NT and went with my parents, husband, boys and my son’s girlfriend. We relaxed, connected, did and saw things we never thought we would – and totally reconnected as a family with all the stress we have had battling Advanced Breast Cancer. Every person we dealt with in the OTIS Foundation was supportive and accommodating and the home that belonged to the George family we are thankful for and loved. OTIS made us feel blessed.” Cathy
“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. My husband and I spent five relaxing and nurturing days in Thredbo and left the kids behind so we could really take advantage of the opportunity. We rested, hiked, biked, strolled and really enjoyed the gorgeous house – thank you Humphrey family! The house was perfect having all the perfect elements – especially the sauna, what a treat! We played Scrabble at night and had many cups of tea on the balconies. There was a distinct Canadian element which I loved, being Canadian too, so we really felt at home. I’ve completed my treatment and surgery and am re-entering the next beautiful phase of my life and what a way to do it. I’m so grateful to the OTIS Foundation and will continue to tell everyone and sing your praises. Thanks for your persistence to finally get a date that worked for us! Your foundation is amazing. Thank you again.” Noelle (& Rob)
“Hi OTIS, I Just wanted to send some photos of where myself and our family stayed out at Eden Hollow in Denmark, WA. It was amazing and it was just what my family needed. Such a beautiful place to stay and just rest. Thanks for the opportunity.” Lisa
Buy Little Blue Towels Online
Know someone – or a car or bike enthusiast – who would love a pack but can’t make it into a Bendigo Bank branch? You can still support The OTIS Foundation and order and send Little Blue Towels to someone who can use a pack.