CCC HOPE4Kids – here’s what happened in 2021?

Before you read a little context about the history of the CCC HOPE4Kids project in the FAQ’s that follow, in the most recent annual fund raiser, (November 2021), Graeme had his hair coloured between Sunday 14th November and Sunday 28th November. On the first two weeks, we posted online, the 3 favourite colours of Beau (14th) and Michael (21st). Using our HOPE4Kids Facebook Group page, we bid by donating to reach a pre-determined fund raising target for each colour, each week, and whatever target we reached, that was the colour of Graeme’s hair for the week. On Beau week we reached the fund raising target of $850 just after we started colouring G’s hair. On Michael week, we reached the fund raising target of $2200 just after midday.

On the final Sunday (28th Nov) firstly, we honoured our mate Chloe on the anniversary of her passing by making Graeme’s “mop” of hair the colours of the rainbow. We still had fund raising targets for some of the colours, and every time someone added $50, they were allowed to colour his hair that colour or via phone or FB nominate someone to do that LIVE! Then, in that festival atmosphere about midday, our final superhero Airlee Podmore, cut the first strands of hair on Graeme’s head prior to the COMPLETE SHAVE, when we successfully passed the $3K funds raised target.

Graeme and Airliee
Graeme and Airlee

We added Airlee to our fund raising efforts this year for all the same reasons we support the other three. They all have currently incurable afflictions that are accompanied by an uncertain future. Airlee is only 10 years old and a couple of years ago started losing her hair through a condition known as ‘Alopecia Areata’. There is no known cure for this autoimmune disease that causes hair loss to varying degrees, and which leaves these children vulnerable to all sorts of challenges. According to experts, Airlee has a challenging stream of AA. You can learn more HERE

We made a decision based upon the genuine interest generated by this fund raiser, to leave it open until our big annual Carols in the Street festival on the 12th December and Graeme made a promise to shave his beard off also, if we passed the $4K mark. We ended up raising $4076 and G’s beard came off at midday on the 12th and the final announcement made and thanks given in a public announcement at the evening festival.

Thanks beyond words to all who helped us achieve this miraculous total and for engaging the fun designed to support 4 precious children and their amazing families. We will leave the DONATE button here BUT if you want us to know what you have donated towards, please identify your deposit with ‘H4K’ or ‘HOPE4Kids’ if you can fit it in your description, and we will make sure your generosity is noted and added to 2022 fund raising efforts.

Here then is the DONATE button. Thank you!

HOPE 4 Kids Fundraiser


Frequently Asked Questions about HOPE4Kids – it’s history and how it works

We get asked random questions about HOPE 4 Kids from time to time. We’d like you to be well informed about our annual effort so that you can be confident about your own support of our project AND you can help others become connected simply because you can answer their important questions. Here then are some FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ’s) and answers.

What happens to my donation after I make it?

At the end of each fund raiser, the total monies raised are divided up equally between the number of Kids we are supporting in any given annual fundraiser. In 2021, we supported FOUR (4) children. There is no administration cost and any transaction fees are covered by us so that ALL MONIES RAISED are used for the project.

As previously mentioned, we choose these kids because we have some level of relationship with them and their families. As such, we work out with the families themselves what THEY would like to do with the raised funds. In EVERY case the families want the money to go directly to research towards a cure for the particular rare childhood disease that their child has. There are rare occasions when one family or another has extraordinary costs related to unique medications or experimental procedures. In these cases we are happy for the families to apportion some of the funds to cover these things and when this happens, we ask for the exact specs so we can inform our donors what these medications and associated costs are.

What is Heartland Ministries Inc and Why does that name appear on the digital donations platform occasionally?

Heartland Ministries Incorporated is an Australian Government Registered Religious Charity which our Senior Minister and fund raising – a – thon protagonist, Graeme Hush, has been the Managing Director of, since he founded it in 2001. Heartland Ministries is an affiliate of the Crosslink Christian Network International, who endorses Heartland’s TWO ministers, Graeme and Gordon Barr so they can receive ‘minister of religion’ credentials in accord with Australian Law from the Attorney General. As such, Heartland Ministries Inc. is the primary partner of Corrimal Community Church and there is a Memorandum of Understanding between the two entities that has enabled ‘Heartland’ to provide Graeme to serve CCC as its minister/mission strategy consultant since 2014.

Because Corrimal Community Church is an unincorporated association, it hasn’t achieved religious charity status, which enables it to provide fund raising services and logistics. Heartland Ministries is a registered Charity and so it partners with Corrimal Community Church to provide this, along with many other services that support its mission work. The Square POS account that the donate link is connected to, is a Heartland Projects account specifically set up to account for all fund raising donations. The financial managers of both entities ensure the monies are fully accounted for and forwarded as per the previous question and answer. Heartland Ministries is also the manager for all of Graeme’s music albums and he has asked that 50% of all sales during the fund raisers, and 20% of all sales at ALL other times, ALSO goes towards the total monies raised.

How did the CCC HOPE4Kids Project start?

What is the HOPE4Kids project and how did it all start? Why are we fundraising to ‘help find a cure’ research for kids with rare childhood diseases? It was mid 2016. My wife, Karen and I were heading towards the half way point in a partnership we had believed God wanted us to be involved with: the re-planting of a church, in a close neighbourhood setting near Wollongong NSW, which was first established the best part 7 decades ago.

Graeme Hush

Corrimal Community Church had been trying to be a consistent and good neighbour. However, this street had varied and historical views about this church which operated on its doorsteps. We have learned over the years that views and opinions change given enough time. This change can happen if the fruit of your life and effort speaks louder than words. So ….. we began intentionally seeking after tangible and practical ways to serve and invest in any local community that the Church had/has relationship with.

What are some of the Crazy things that have been done for the annual fund raisers?

Graeme is the sort of person who has never sent anyone to do anything he wouldn’t do himself. So, he grabbed the only young bloke he knew at the time who would be crazy enough to join him. We decided to hold a 24hour Table Tennis marathon. (G thought he might need this young man’s health and energy). Thanks, Josh Rowles!

Graeme and Josh 24 Hour Table Tennis Marathon

We had NO desire to raise money for ourselves. We DID want to inspire our community with a belief that we are on the earth to serve others. At the time, through connections to a long time close family friendship of Graeme’s, we met the incredible and gorgeous Chloe Saxby. Chloe was 7 or 8 years old at this time. When she was just 3, she was diagnosed with a very rare, currently incurable, disease called ‘Vanishing White Matter Disease’. You can find out more about this @savingchloesaxby.

When we met Chloe and her amazing, selfless Mum Nyree, Dad Grant and older sister Mads, we fell in love. Corrimal Community Church began an effort to consistently support the Saxby’s, an effort that continues today! That first fund raising effort also included raising awareness about finding a solution to youth Homelessness. This is something Graeme is passionate about. The fact that couch surfing is often the first awful step to a homeless outcome is distressing.

Supporting Salvation Army’s homelessness project

So, we supported the Salvation Army’s Couch Project. Graeme had the privilege of being a working patron for this cause during his work contract with the Salvos between 2013-2016.

In 2017 we had started serving the combined churches in the Northern Illawarra Christian Education Board. This board raises funds from scratch each year to employ 3 quality scripture teachers/chaplains in three local high schools.

We decided to take our serving the community effort outside of the church walls. So, Graeme did a 6 Hour Backwards Walk with a handful of support walk spotters, past the front gates of our three local High Schools. We continued to support the Chloe Saxby Foundation to help find a cure for Vanishing White Matter Disease. After the Backwards Walk, things seemed to start shifting in a positive direction as far as the neighbourhood’s view of our small church re-plant was concerned.

Long story short we started what we call The HOPE Project. Simply, it’s based on our belief that Jesus was sent to earth by Father God to declare, represent and demonstrate the kingdom of God ON earth as it IS in heaven. And so the Heaven On Planet Earth (H.O.P.E.) Project was born.

Is the HOPE 4 Kids Project a part of something bigger?

During the 12 months following the ‘6 Hour Backwards Walk’, we learned a lot and grew in our resolve to serve others. So, in 2018 we planned to have Graeme play Drums for 24 hours. We set this event up as a festival with neighbourhood activities running concurrent with the drum marathon. This crazy event launched The H.O.P.E. Project which received favourable and broad media attention. H.O.P.E was the descriptor and framework for all we were and continue to attempt to this day, and so it was not stretch at all to establish this annual fund raiser 4Kids with rare childhood diseases, under the H.O.P.E. banner.

Earlier in 2018 Graeme had conducted a dedication and naming ceremony for a beautiful little boy who belonged to a family in Canberra that he had conducted a number of life celebrations for whilst he lived in that city, continuing during the years since. Beau McClinton suffers with Ohtahara Syndrome. This is a rare childhood disease with an unclear future and is a form of epilepsy causing extreme numbers of full body tremors and fits. Well, we would love to help find a cure for this!

About the same time, we also became aware of the young son of a family that Graeme’s wife Karen had been closely associated with for many years. Michael Bereznai has a childhood affliction that was only identified as a rare childhood disease in about 2005. Neuroendocrine Hyperplasia of Infancy (NEHI) affects the lungs and breathing capacity of its victims and with that comes obvious challenges.

CCC HOPE 4 Kids was launched as part of the ‘Heaven On Planet Earth (H.O.P.E.) Project during the 2018 24 Hour Drum-a-thon as a simple platform for raising awareness and much needed research and support funding, for children dealing with rare childhood diseases and their wonderful families.

We could easily become overwhelmed by the great needs across our community. Nevertheless, we decided to work hard to support children we had a growing level of relationship with so that we can connect hearts to this effort as well as other things. It makes things more tangible and measurable and so for now we support Chloe’s Foundation, Beau, Michael and Airlee (whom we added in 2021 and share her story and our relationship with her in the 2021 wrap up above).

You mentioned earlier that sales of Graeme’s new commercial music album, ‘Better Now’ support HOPE4Kids?

From the very beginning of Graeme’s Better Now album project, we decided that a significant percentage of total sales of both the Limited Edition CD AND the digital download versions of the album would supplement fund raising efforts.

50% of album sales will be dedicated to the HOPE4Kids Project during Corrimal Community Church’s annual fundraiser each year. Graeme’s first anthology of songs from 1982-2007 is also available for digital download and 50% of all sales will be dedicated to the HOPE4Kids Project during fund raising event seasons. BOTH releases as described ascribe 20% of all sales to HOPE4Kids at ALL other times.

We’ve heard some sad news about Chloe Saxby. Can you update us?

Tragically, one of our four HOPE4Kids children, Chloe Saxby, passed away in November 2020, at just 12 years of age. We were so sad when our little mate went to her rest. This can be the reality for these families who’s dear children have incurable (currently) childhood diseases. We will keep praying for and supporting these families and their efforts to find cures. The Saxby family are currently more than happy for us to continue our support of ‘Saving Chloe Saxby’.

Corrimal Community Church NSW, Heartland Ministries Incorporated (registered Charity covering body) and the Better Now Album, are proud ongoing supporters of the HOPE4Kids project. If you, too, would like to support our kids and their families you can purchase a Better Now album or donate by clicking on the link below. DON’T FORGET to identify your deposit as ‘H4K’ or ‘HOPE4Kids’ if it fits the description of your donation.



HOPE 4 Kids Fundraiser