When Stephen Brooks needed help, the Royal Hobart Hospital was there. Now he's repaying their kindness:
I had been teaching Grade 3/4 and PE at St John’s Catholic School for six years when in the 2011 June term break I was involved in a very nasty car accident. During visits to the Royal Hobart Hospital Burns Unit, my wife and I were struck by the number of young children in the unit – there seemed to new children every time I attended check-ups and clinics.
The Hospital houses the only burns unit in Tasmania, and as a result, are heavily worked and under constant pressure. We wanted to do something to help – and because of the severe nature of my injuries I was unable to do much at the time – I wasn’t going to be able to do a charity run or the like!
We started A Tee a Day as a way of doing some fundraising to help support the Burns Unit. I have always been known for my t-shirt collection, and the students at school would often request certain shirts on certain days, so I came up with the t-shirt a day idea. I had always jokingly said I had enough t-shirts to last me a year so I thought I would put it to the test!
I set up the A Tee a Day website and started the challenge. We had no idea how much we would raise – if we got enough to buy the nurses a cup of coffee we were happy! We did hope, however, to raise enough to maybe buy an iPad or two for the Unit, to help support the children undergoing check-ups and painful dressing changes.
Support from the St John’s community has been fantastic, as it has been since the date of the accident. I spoke to the School community at assembly on Wednesday 3 December and was blown away by the support the staff, families and students have shown me. I attended the A Tee a Day fundraising event on Friday 5 December as well, and I have never seen so many tees in one place at once!
The School community raised over $1,000 on that day – which is awesome and way beyond my wildest dreams! It takes our total to around $1,700 all up. I am crossing my fingers we hit $2,000 by 31 December. I will present the cheque to the Burns Unit early in 2015 and discuss with them how they would like to spend it, with an eye on purchasing some iPads and accessories!
If you would like to support Stephen in his quest to raise $2,000 for the Royal Hobart Hospital Burns Unit by the end of the year, please visit the A Tee a Day website to donate.