Charities across the Gold Coast and Tweed have received a surprised gift just in time for Christmas, with Gold Coast Airport making an unexpected deposit into their bank accounts in recent days.
A total of 26 local charities will benefit from the redistribution of money and jewellery left unclaimed in the terminal in recent years, with a combined total of $20,000 donated.
Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said although it was always disappointing when valuable goods were left behind, it was rewarding to be able to give back to those most in need.
"While we do everything we can to try to reunite lost property with its rightful owners, sometimes it just isn't possible and we donate those goods to charity," Ms Charlton said.
"So, we had a wonderful problem to solve together - what to do with the money and jewellery left unclaimed over the years.
"We asked our team to nominate their favourite local charities and with Christmas just around the corner, it's a great time to be able to do something small to help those most in need. While it is awful to lose your things, we hope this donation at least achieves something positive for the community.
"Our terminal team put in a lot of time and effort into managing lost property and our finance team helps to manage the money - every little bit helps."
A total of $19,674.01 in loose change and lost jewellery has been collected in recent years, with Gold Coast Airport rounding up the fund to the $20,000 mark before donating to 26 charities.
The funding contribution comes in addition to the monthly donation of property left behind in the terminal such as clothing, prams and sunglasses, to local homeless charity 'You Have a Friend', which supports the homeless with food drops and other support.
Animal Welfare League Qld Chief Executive Officer Denise Bradley said the organisation was over the moon when the surprise $1000 from Gold Coast Airport landed in their bank account.
"Running an animal shelter and saving the lives of thousands of animals each year requires a huge financial investment," Ms Bradley said.
"Each and every year, AWLQ cares for more than 10,000 animals that through no fault of their own become homeless. Our goals are ambitious - we don't turn away animals who are suffering and we don't euthanise animals because they are old or require treatment.
"Without the community's support AWLQ would not be able to continue its lifesaving work, we sincerely appreciate the support shown by Queensland Airport Ltd who recently donated to AWLQ.
"When you donate to AWLQ you are saving lives. Lives of old dogs, abandoned litters and homeless cats. Alone they are vulnerable - together we will give them a second chance. Any act of generosity this Christmas will save lives."