Newcastle West Officeworks raises almost $5000 through Wall of Hands appeal.

Robert Guse

Handy hero: Robert Guse, of Officeworks Newcastle West, with the Wall Of Hands which raised almost $5000 for the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation.

Handy hero: Robert Guse, of Officeworks Newcastle West, with the Wall Of Hands which raised almost $5000 for the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation.

Wall Of Hands Literacy Appeal

ROBERT Guse believes all children deserve the chance to learn to read and write.

It is why the store business manager of Officeworks Newcastle West has encouraged his team of staff to help raise almost $5000 for the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation (ALNF).

Through the Wall of Hands Literacy Appeal, the ALNF helps to give indigenous children the chance to read and write.

Mr Guse said each Officeworks store gets behind the initiative each year.

The in-store campaign invites customers to “raise their hand for literacy” by purchasing a hand-shaped card for $2 throughout the month of September to help the ALNF deliver literacy programs in indigenous communities across Australia.

Customers write their names on a coloured “hand” that they have bought, which is then stuck on a wall in the store.

“It’s not a hard sell,” Mr Guse said.

“We just talk to our customers about what it is that we are doing, and how we are supporting the Literacy and Numeracy Foundation. A lot of our customers are very interested, and happy to help.

“Some will buy more than one hand, others will give a bit more of a donation.

“The support from the community around our store has been fantastic.”

For every five indigenous children living in remote communities in the Northern Territory, only one will be able to read at the minimum standard.

The Newcastle West store had been particularly successful, raising $4,939 for the cause.

It was the second most raised out of 160 Officeworks stores.

“Last year we won the competition nationally as well,” Mr Guse said.

He was incredibly proud of his team members and customers who were all behind the cause.

“We believe that being able to read and write is a basic human right and that closing the indigenous literacy gap should be a priority for all Australians,” he said.

“I’m really proud of our team who are actively behind this important cause that gives children the opportunity to write their own futures. We couldn’t have achieved this without the generosity of the Newcastle West community. We are incredibly grateful.

“It gives us a sense of achievement, a sense of pride, and it’s great to be involved in helping underprivileged people learn.”

Mr Guse also tries to help out The Smith Family each Christmas.

Since 2013, the Wall of Hands campaign has raised more than $330,000 for the literacy appeal.

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