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Building Brighter Futures Together: A Tale of Community Partnership

Sometimes "excitement and grateful" is the only way you can begin to describe a remarkable journey that at its core is a heartwarming story of “Local Community Partnership” happening here in Newcastle. This past year a great friendship of LIVEfree Project has been birthed in the midst of great need but also in the most unexpected of places - Steve Guoite, the Regional Manager of Woolworths, with his amazing Newcastle team has woven so much kindness and community spirit around the emerging youth of our area that it has actually changed the future ahead for our regions kids. Steve is more than just a manager – he's a community champion!

Picture this: a chance encounter at a community event brought Steve and the LIVEfree Project together. From the get-go, Steve's heart overflowed with passion and enthusiasm for making a real difference in the lives of people in need and how his team in Newcastle was inspired by need and he quickly inspired his team so they were of like mind. What unfolded was a remarkable partnership, one that goes beyond the usual corporate and community connections.

You know how some companies try to show their "family feel" in marketing campaigns? Well, in Newcastle, it's not just a marketing gimmick. Woolworths has genuinely become family for the LIVEfree Project and the wider

low-socioeconomic community of children here. They see us, hear us, and care about the tireless work we're doing in the community. It's a match made in heaven!

Thanks to this extraordinary partnership, the LIVEFree Project has achieved some truly awe-inspiring milestones. With Woolworths’ support through their OZharvest partnership, they've been able to help LIVEfree Project feed over 400 people every single week. And that's just the beginning!

Steve and his incredible team also decided to embark on a mission to brighten the future of at-risk children in Newcastle. At Christmas time their Christmas campaign helped us source over 900 gifts for vulnerable children in our local area so they all had a present to unwrap at Christmas this past year - WOW!!!

Then this team took on a national first for regional teams and generously contributed $50,550 towards the Brighter Beginnings Bus program - all from the epic fundraising solutions of a mighty 14 stores in local community over 14 days of epic kindness through their local store campaigns. This LIVEfree Project initiative aims to do more than just transport children to school every day; it's a lifeline for so many! The bus will also provide dental and medical transport for those in need, support women and children fleeing violence, deliver groceries to vulnerable individuals, and bring companionship to those experiencing isolation.

Let me tell you, this partnership is not just about monetary donations. The Woolworths team, led by Steve's genuine compassion, is hands-on in the community. They've volunteered their time, flipped eggs and bacon at community breakfasts for the homeless, and sat down with those who needed a listening ear. This level of involvement goes beyond expectations and shows true dedication to being part of the solution!

Together, Woolworths and the LIVEFree Project are creating a brighter future for the children of Newcastle. The ripple effect of their initiatives will break the cycle of generational poverty and make education accessible to those in need. It's truly inspiring to witness the transformation happening in the community, all thanks to this incredible partnership.

So, let's take a moment to appreciate Woolworths and their amazing team for being more than just a retail giant. They're a beacon of hope, proving that corporate community engagement can change lives, one smile at a time. Here's to brighter futures, together!

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