MIRACLE BUB: Mackenzie Anderson was born prematurely at Sunshine Coast University Hospital. Now she’s the face of the Wishlist Giving Day on Thursday, August 20. Photo: John McCutcheon
MIRACLE BUB: Mackenzie Anderson was born prematurely at Sunshine Coast University Hospital. Now she’s the face of the Wishlist Giving Day on Thursday, August 20. Photo: John McCutcheon

WATCH: Virtual fundraiser helps vital Coast charity

Locals are being encouraged to dig deep and help a charity continue its vital work in making life a little easier for Sunshine Coast families with loved ones in hospital.

Wishlist will on Thursday host a virtual fundraising event outside Sunshine Coast University Hospital in a bid to make up for the charity's substantial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Sunshine Coast Daily will livestream the event on Facebook from 1pm.

Wishlist CEO Lisa Rowe said due to COVID-19 the charity had taken a massive hit, suffering a decline of $750,000 in fundraising revenue this year.

Vital fundraising appeal helps kids like miracle 'Mack'

"This is our very first Wishlist Giving Day so we have high hopes the community will rally around us and our local public hospitals, and donate online or by phone on August 20," she said.

Gympie mum Crystelle Anderson said Wishlist lightened the load during the family's lengthy stay at SCUH after her daughter, Mackenzie, was born prematurely at 34 weeks.

"I don't think I realised what a struggle it was having Mack in hospital so long. We are so lucky that our hospital service is making sure these little humans have the very best chance at life," she said.

"The Parents Retreat was such a great place to quite literally retreat to, especially when you sometimes have no other opportunity to breathe fresh air for days on end."

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Posted by Wishlist on Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Now, little Mackenzie is your regular energetic one-year-old and is the face of Thursday's Wishlist event.

"She is smashing all her milestones and she truly is the living incarnation of 'though she be but little, she is fierce'," Ms Anderson said.

Ms Rowe said the best thing about the Wishlist Giving Day was every donation would be matched on the day thanks to its corporate matchers Exemplar Health and Sunshine Toyota.

She said businesses could still join the appeal as a "matched giver" to publicly support their local hospital, and urged locals to support on Thursday.

"It is so easy to donate, just visit wishlist.org.au and follow the prompts. Or you can phone us during this 12-hour appeal on (07) 5202 1777. Plus, donations over $2 are tax-deductible."

Ms Rowe said now, more than ever, the not-for-profit foundation needed support to continue to fund services across the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service.

For more information, visit wishlist.org.au.