Christopher Gaunt, along with his business partner Chris Grant, otherwise known as the Two Chris’s from CC Squared, have raised over $2,000 to purchase two back pack blowers for Woodhill Rural Fire Service.
Christopher, who lives with Down syndrome, and Chris who lives with Spina Bifida, formed a partnership a few years ago in response to the difficulties people with disabilities have in finding employment.
The two men began by making wooden craft items and recycled art to sell at local markets.
The community supported them not just by purchasing their goods, but often supplying materials for their work.
The two Chris’s wanted to give back and so incorporated some fundraising activities into their business.
Some of their profits from markets went to charity and they also held some raffles and sausage sizzles to raise money.
They provided funds to support the Australian Down syndrome swimming team to compete at the world Down syndrome games, raised money for both Down syndrome Queensland and epilepsy Queensland.
Then Chris Grant suggested going for something big and inspired by first aid training by Mick Kajewski from MK Training Solutions, Chris suggested a defibrillator for the local community.
When Covid hit they were unable to sell their wares at markets, but when the cash for cans program came in they began using it to add to their fundraising efforts.
Christopher really enjoyed collecting and sorting the cans.
They still kept the other side of the business going on a smaller scale, especially when Chris moved to Bundaberg, so the fundraising focus became the can recycling collection.
The defibrillator was purchased in May this year and is now available, via Beaudesert Swimming Pool for community groups to use.
Having achieved this goal, the two Chris’s turned their attention to a new goal inspired by the Santa run by Woodhill Rural Fire Service.
Having lived at Cedar Vale for 30 years, the highlight of Christmas eve for Christopher has been when Santa came out of the first truck to check his list and deliver a few lollies.
Christopher and his mother, Lorraine, made a trip to Woodhill Rural Fire Service to discuss what they need and what Christopher could help them with.
The RFS members came up with their most pressing need – a backpack blower, priced at $1,200 each.
These blowers are such a valuable piece of firefighting equipment that the two Chris’s aim to raise enough for four back pack blowers.
With the assistance of Jimboomba Quota, they were able to present two blowers to the Woodhill RFS at their recent AGM – one for Woodhill and another for Birnam RFS.
Fundraising efforts are continuing. If you would like to contribute to Christopher and Chris’ fundraising efforts, use the cash for cans scheme code C10182608.