Winning Endeavour Foundation’s $1.5 million Christmas Prize Home in Eumundi has enabled one Caloundra couple to follow their hearts to help others.
Paul and Asha, both nurses, are travelling to Vanuatu on a humanitarian mission.
“We’re going up there for four to six weeks to vaccinate the outer islands. It’s going to be an adventure as well really. We’re going out to the really remote ones that you’d never see as a tourist.”
“I’ve done a fair bit of aid work in Africa, but it’s the first time for Asha to be operational,” Paul said.
“We didn’t have to worry about salary or anything – we could just donate the time.”
“Winning the house has certainly given us the freedom,” Asha added.
Drawn just two days before Christmas, the couple were hard at work administering Covid-19 vaccinations on the Sunshine Coast when Paul received the call to say that he had won.
And while winning a $1.5 million home is a gift that’s hard to top, for Paul and Asha, their favourite thing was the Christmas tree hung with baubles containing special notes from Endeavour Foundation assisted workers.
“We loved that we won the Christmas house, which was just the most amazing Christmas present with that beautiful Christmas tree with all of the messages from everyone,” Asha said.
“They said things like “Thank you for supporting”, “Enjoy your new master bedroom”, and even “I want to come over for a barbecue”,” Paul laughed.
“One fellow said he loved the train set that was in the house so we gave that back so that it could be given to him.”
For Paul and Asha, winning the home has been a very special experience they will never forget, including receiving the keys from one of Endeavour Foundation’s assisted employees.
“Everyone from Endeavour have been absolutely wonderful,” Asha said.
“And everything has been taken care of, right down to the little touches. They even had milk and bread – all the staples – there so that we could just stay there straight away. It was very thoughtful.”
“Even chocolate biscuits and really nice strawberry jam,” Paul added.
“We were still pinching ourselves, so we hadn’t thought ahead like that,” Asha said.
Since the handover, Paul and Asha have been enjoying weekend mini-breaks at their new home while they plan their next steps.
“We’re in the process of moving to New Zealand, so we are going to put the house on the market and then that will fund a house for us in New Zealand,” Paul said.
With the NZ property market booming, the win couldn’t have come at a better time for the couple.
“We were looking in New Zealand a few months before and we were thinking this is just unaffordable because New Zealand property has gone a bit crazy. But with this Endeavour house it has made it all possible,” Asha said.
“As they say, winning can make your own dreams come true,” Paul laughed.
Selling the home is bittersweet for the couple who have already started to settle into their new sanctuary.
“We’ve enjoyed the time that we’ve had. It’s been a little haven to go to over the last few months. With the busy workload we’ve had we’ve been able to escape up there,” Asha said.
“It’s so peaceful and it’s all self-contained with its own water, sewerage treatment and solar panels. And there’s a quarter acre down the bottom that you could plant out with trees.”
The home has also made the perfect base for exploring the northern end of the Sunshine Coast.
“We hadn’t been up to Eumundi for some time, so we’ve used it to discover all the little towns around and we’ve been going to the local restaurants.”
While it will be difficult to say goodbye to their Eumundi haven, Paul and Asha are keen to make the most of the hot Sunshine Coast real estate market and make their move across the ditch one step closer.
“It’s a good time to sell. It’s not even on the market yet but there’s been nine or ten enquiries already,” Paul said.
A long-term Star Supporter, Paul has seen firsthand how Endeavour Foundation helps turn possibility into reality for people with intellectual disability.
“I used to work in disability in Rockhampton and worked very closely with Endeavour. And my best mate worked with Endeavour for about 20 years or so.”
“It’s such a worthwhile organisation and Paul has been with them for so many years,” Asha said.
For Paul, the reason he supports Endeavour Foundation is easy to sum up:
“It gives people a chance, you know, a step up.”
*Winner’s name has been changed for privacy reasons.