Dubbo resident supports Include a Charity Week from September 5

WILLING TO GIVE: Cheryl Tonkin is encouraging others to leave a gift to one or more charities in their wills. Photo: PAIGE WILLIAMS
WILLING TO GIVE: Cheryl Tonkin is encouraging others to leave a gift to one or more charities in their wills. Photo: PAIGE WILLIAMS

Dubbo resident Cheryl Tonkin is leaving a “medium” amount of money in her will to each of the Stroke Foundation, Heart Foundation and Cancer Council Australia.

The triple-stroke survivor discussed the gifts with her family before putting them in writing.

Mrs Tonkin, 63, is among the 7.5 per cent of Australians who leave a gift in their wills for one or more charities.

More than 100 charities will come together again from September 5 to September 11 to try to boost the percentage to 12 per cent, which would make another $440 million available for good works.

Include a Charity Week gets the thumbs up from Mrs Tonkin who lost her father to cancer and has a high regard for the the stroke and heart foundations.

She is regularly contacted by the Stroke Foundation and calls on it for information on behalf of the Dubbo Stroke Support Group.

Include a Charity was established in 2011 to encourage more Australians to leave a gift in their wills,“after they have provided for their loved ones”.

Charities that take part in the annual event include the Australian Red Cross, Stroke Foundation, Cancer Council Australia, Amnesty International Australia, Mater Foundation, RSPCA, the Salvation Army, Legacy, Fred Hollows Foundation, the Smith Family, Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Guide Dogs.

About 87 per cent of Australians are reported to support a charity in their lifetime. About 29 per cent want to leave a gift in their will, but only  7.5 per manage to do it.

The Include a Charity campaign is telling Australians that any gift, no matter what size, can make a difference.

Mrs Tonkin agrees wholeheartedly.

“If 200 people each make a small donation it becomes a reasonable amount,” she said.

The mother and grandmother, who had to learn to talk and walk again after her first stoke, said her family was “thrilled” with her decision to leave money to the charities.

“ If we all did it, it would make an enormous difference,” she said.

For information visit www.includeacharity.com.au.