Coles shoppers band together to support Aussie veterans

WA shoppers have raised more than $26,000 in just five days to support ill or injured Aussie veterans facing financial hardship.

Coles Hillarys, Victoria Park East and Manjimup were ranked the state’s most generous stores, helping contribute to more than $232,000 raised nationally by Coles and its customers.

Funds were raised from customer donations and sales of Coles Bakery branded cookies and biscuits sold at supermarkets from April 22 to 26, with 50c from each sale donated to Bravery Trust.

They will allow the charity to support more than 150 Aussie veterans who have an injury or illness as a result of their service and about 600 family members of Australian Defence Force (ADF) members.

Bravery Trust chief executive Belinda Wilson said she was overwhelmed by the support that veterans had received.

“These funds will help Aussie veterans who put their bodies and minds on the line to protect our country and to keep us safe,” she said.

“Funds will go towards keeping families together, with a roof over their head and food on the table.

“It will provide a financial safety net for those in need who are falling through the gaps.

“On behalf of Bravery Trust, I would like to thank Coles and the Australian community for your support.

Coles state general manager Pat Zanetti said it wanted to raise funds for Bravery Trust as a way of supporting current and former ADF members facing hardship.

“We can’t thank our customers enough for their generosity,” he said.

“It’s incredible to see the support our customers, especially those who are facing hardships themselves, have provided to our Aussie veterans.

“Our history as an Australian company traces back to not long before World War One started, with Arthur Coles being one of the first Australians to enlist and GJ Coles then enlisting later and fighting on the Western Front in France.

“GJ was wounded on the battlefield while sadly two of his brothers were killed.

“Now more than 100 years later, we have a number of team members who are active members in the Defence Force Reserve and we are always proud to support Aussie veterans by raising funds through Bravery Trust.”