H.O.P.E. 4 Kids…what’s it all about?

How the H.O.P.E Project started

How is the H.O.P.E. 4 Kids project and how did it all start and why are we fundraising to help find a cure research for three rare childhood diseases? It was mid 2016. 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 that had been in a close neighbourhood setting near Wollongong NSW, for the best part 6 decades.

by Graeme Hush

CCC 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. I 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.

Some Crazy Ideas

I am the sort of person who has never sent anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. So, I grabbed the only young bloke I knew at the time who would be crazy enough to join me. We decided to hold a 24hour Table Tennis marathon. (I thought I might need his health and energy). Thanks, Josh Rowles!

Graeme and Josh 24 Hour Table Tennis Marathon

I had NO desire to raise money for ourselves. I DID want to inspire within 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, 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 I am passionate about. The fact that couch surfing is often the first awful step to a homeless outcome is distressing.

Kids and Couches

So, we supported the Salvation Army’s Couch Project. I had the privilege of being a working patron for this cause during my 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.

I decided to take our serving the community effort outside of the church walls. So, I did a 6 Hour Backwards Walk 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, the neighbourhood’s view of our small church re-plant shifted significantly in a positive direction.

Long story short we started what we call The H.O.P.E Project. Simply, it’s based on our belief that Jesus was sent to earth by the 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.

H.O.P.E. Project Launches

During the following 12 months we learned a lot and grew in our resolve to serve others. So, in 2018 we planned to have me 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 broad media attention. H.O.P.E was the descriptor and framework for all we were and are attempting.

Earlier in 2018 I had dedicated a beautiful little boy who belonged to a family I had conducted a number of life celebrations for. Beau 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!

We also became aware of the young son of a family that my wife Karen had been closely associated with for many years. Michael 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.

HOPE4Kids was launched at 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, Beau and Michael.

Better Now album project funds H.O.P.E. 4 Kids project

In 2020 From the very beginning of my Better Now album project, we decided that a significant percentage of total sales of both the Limited Edition CD AND the digital download version supplement fund raising efforts.

During the month of mid-August to mid-September 2020 50% of album sales went to the H.O.P.E.4 Kids Project during Corrimal Community Church’s annual fundraiser . Together we raised nearly $3000 for the three families we support.

Update on Chloe Saxby

Tragically, one of our three H.O.P.E. 4 Kids children, Chloe Saxby, passed away in November 2020. This can the the reality for these families who’s dear children have incurable (currently) childhood diseases. We will keep supporting these families and the efforts to find a cure.

Corrimal Community Church NSW and the Better Now Album, proud are ongoing supporters of the H.O.P.E. 4 Kids project. If you, too, would like to support our kids and their families you can purchase a Better Now album or donate on the link below.

HOPE 4 Kids Fundraiser