The cause, championed by Nambucca woman Bev Mann, was part of CareFlight’s Charity of the Month project.
“It’s been amazing to think that people care so deeply and I’m so grateful for their support,” Bev said.
Bev approached CareFlight after seeing a video showing children scavenging through rubbish tips, not just for food but for objects their parents can sell, and toys.
“When the children found a broken bottle or a rusty tin they would keep it to play with,” Bev said.
It reduced her to tears.
Bev asked if CareFlight had any old, even broken bears that could be given to the children.
“We could do better than that,” CareFlight Fundraising Manager Leanne Angel said.
“Any bears donated in April will go to those children.”
CareFlight supporters rose to the challenge with 83 bears purchased through the charity for the PNG campaign.
“We’re delighted with the response and thank our supporters for their ongoing generosity,” CareFlight Fundraising Manager Leanne Angel said.
It’s a feeling shared by Bev.
“It’s been incredible to think that CareFlight supporters would donate 83 bears,” Bev said.
“It brings our overall tally to 303 donated bears.
“My aim is to collect 400 bears and with CareFlight, friends and family we are well on our way to achieving this goal.”
At the end of June, Bev and 16 other people committed to the task will return to the village of Kwikila, one and a half hours south of Port Moresby, with the bears.
The Salvation Army, which is based in Papua New Guinea, has kindly offered to fly the bears, Bev and her supporters to Papua New Guinea.
“I was asked to join the team to help give out all the bears that have been donated to these underprivileged children,” she said.
“I’m so grateful to CareFlight and the Salvation Army and all their supporters for helping to make this a reality.”