Sunrise viewers were treated to a major surprise on Tuesday morning with the return of Mel Doyle to Brekky Central.
Early in the show, host Matt Shirvington announced that the former host would be “coming back” to the Sunrise couch to help raise awareness for a cause close to her heart.
Speaking to Shirvo and host Nat Barr, Mel encouraged Australians to donate to the Alannah & Madeline Foundation today as part of a major charity drive.
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Walter Mikac started the foundation to honour his young daughters Alannah and Madeline who were killed alongside their mother at the Port Arthur massacre in 1996.
Mel, a long-time ambassador to the charity, says they are hoping to raise $200,000 for their Buddy Bags program.
In an emotional interview, the star said the bags are given to thousands of Australian children who are taken into emergency care each year.
Former host Mel Doyle speaks to Sunrise stars Nat and Shirvo. Credit: Sunrise
“Thirteen thousand children are taken from their home every year and taken into emergency care because they’ve got nowhere to live or they’re not safe where they are,” she said, tearing up.
“So the Buddy Bag program – it’s so simple, but I just think it’s really special. These kids are often plucked from their home in the middle of the night with nothing.
“One of our social workers, Lee, talked about grabbing a garbage bag at one point for a few little girls to throw a few things in.
“So the Buddy Bag is given to these kids. It’s got a few essential items – there’s like a toothbrush and pyjamas and socks and the last thing to be packed is a teddy bear because he’s the first thing to come out.
“It gives kids a sense of security and comfort at a really terrifying moment in their life and it’s just a signal to them that they matter.”
Mel was on Sunrise to help raise donations to provide more Buddy Bags to kids in need. Credit: Sunrise
Mel said donations are needed to get more Buddy Bags to kids in need, given that only 6,000 bags are currently being delivered to the 13,000 children placed in emergency care.
“This year we’re hoping to raise $200,000 which means the trauma program can continue, plus we can do 4,000 Buddy Bags,” she said.
“If we can raise $100,000 today, then Wilson Security – our partner – will double it. So between 8am 8pm we’re hoping to do $200,000 today, which is another 4,000.
“I just think I love it because they’re so, like I said, it’s kind of such a simple thing and it’s so tangible but it makes such a difference.”
You can donate by heading to the foundation’s official website.
Former Sunrise host Mel Doyle. Credit: Sunrise
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