Wodonga twins Aleisha and Lauren Coyle raise almost $4000 for Country Hope

Lauren and Aleisha Coyle

GIVING: Wodonga twins Aleisha and Lauren Coyle, 13, have been fundraising for Country Hope for years, selling craft and collecting old batteries. Picture: MARK JESSER

Story by Ellen Ebsary at  The Border Mail

In the three years Aleisha and Lauren Coyle have fundraised for Country Hope, it was meeting children who have cancer that really drove the impact of their cause home.

GIVING: Wodonga twins Aleisha and Lauren Coyle, 13, have been fundraising for Country Hope for years, selling craft and collecting old batteries. Picture: MARK JESSER

The Wodonga twins, 13, first started off selling craft and now collect old batteries to recycle.

They have raised $1112 this year – bringing the grand total to $3787 – and The Rotary Club Of Belvoir Wodonga have presented another $1000 for the girls to hand over.

Being invited to a Country Hope camp at Beechworth, for sick kids and their siblings to take some time out, was a major highlight for Lauren.

“The reason we chose Country Hope to fundraise for was because our friend’s cousin went there,” she said.

“We got shown around and got to speak to some of the kids (at the camp).

“Some of them weren’t sick, but were family members, and they all seemed happy.

“It felt good we were helping them.”

Lauren said she and Aleisha had to change their strategy in recent years, reaching out to local businesses for batteries.

“When we did our first market a lady came up to us and said she’d heard about us on the news and had come down from Wagga just for us,” she said.

“We’re not very crafty … we didn’t have time to keep making things, so we wondered about a way to make money differently.”

The twins’ mum, Jan, said they had received an overwhelmingly positive response from the community.

“People we don’t know have put batteries at their mailboxes for us to pick up,” she said.

“Belvoir said to me it was really nice for them, as a group that raises money all the time, to see young people having a go.”

Country Hope provides support programs to children diagnosed with cancer and other chronic life-threatening illnesses in Wagga, Griffith, Albury-Wodonga and surrounding regions.

Nikki Grae, who manages the Border catchment stretching from Corryong to Cobram, said all the fundraising from the Coyle twins would stay in the area.

“We’re well known and supported in Wagga, but in the Albury area not a lot of the population know who we are and what we do,” she said.

“It’s absolutely brilliant these girls connect with our vision and support us on a regular basis.

“It means a lot.”

Nikki Grae