Adopt a Pensioner: Update

Reporter: David Richardson

Thousands of everyday Australians are doing what the Federal Government couldn't or wouldn't do for our two million single aged pensioners and more than 700,000 disabled pensioners: provide some small relief. In every state in Australia, people are extending the hand of friendship with gifts of support.

Today Paul Versteege from the Combined Pensioners Association was given $5000 in IGA gift vouchers from the company's community chest. It began with Amanda Pike adopting Betty Moore, the single aged pensioner who for months has battled to get an increase in the pension - a simple pay rise of just $10 a week.

Now pensioner adoptions like this are happening everywhere. In NSW, Joanne Roch is a single mother who earns barely more than the single aged pension herself, yet they're adopting thanks to her two sons' generosity of volunteering their spare money. Mother of two Debbie Williams is using her internet auction site to adopt in Victoria. "A group of about 150 sellers will donate products from their inventory," Debbie said. "We will put it up on bang4bucks and all the proceeds will go towards buying food vouchers for pensioners."

Two hundred families at three daycare centres in Queensland are chipping in, asking families to bring a donation of food, or a service, or a voucher to add to a hamper for a pensioner. Christian Turner from Your Webspace plans to provide an new adopt-a-pensioner website within the next two weeks. "We'll design a website that allows pensioners to register their names and details at the website, and then people who want to adopt a pensioner can come in and register their wishes, sort through the records and see who they want to adopt," Mr Turner said.

Meanwhile, Australia's radio commentators have added their voice "[The] Adopt-a-pensioner scheme says to Canberra, 'listen, listen, then do something bloody about it," radio host Derryn Hinch said."What we say is, Mr Rudd, this campaign, here we come - what are you going to do?"

Further information

'''If you wish to make a gift card donation (do not send cash), please direct it to the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association.

Address: Level 9, 28 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010.
Phone: (02) 9281 3588
Toll Free: 1800 451 488

IGA's website:'''