Truth behind Bunnings customer's viral TikTok criticising charity running sausage sizzle

Bunnings has responded to a customer who refused to buy a sausage sandwich from a charity he says was anti-abortion.

A shocked customer at a Bunnings sausage sizzle fundraiser says he refused to make a purchase after being led to believe the women's support group running the stall was anti-abortion.

Zac Andre visited the Bunnings store at Belmont in Perth on Sunday and was at the sausage sizzle tent inquiring about the charity running the stall. He was disappointed by what he found out and posted a video to TikTok.

"I thought to have my little sausage before I leave and asked 'what’s your charity, what do you support?'" Mr Andre told Yahoo News Australia.

A photo of Zac Andre, a concerned Bunnings customer. A photo of a snag at the Belmont store in WA.
A concerned Bunnings customer at the Belmont store in Perth, WA shared their experience with one of the charities who were raising funds through a sausage sizzle. Source: TikTok/Facebook

"The lovely woman goes ‘we support women and girls throughout the world. And I said well that’s very vague, what do you do?"

Going through the things, which included “great causes” like ‘shelter, handing out food,” Mr Andre then asked whether they support “a woman’s right to have an abortion,” at which point, he said the member “went sour”.

"She just said an immediate no. Followed by a very disdained look on her face," he said. So I went OK, well then you’re not getting my money. Goodbye."

Yahoo News discovered from Bunnings the charity group running the sausage sizzle was Soroptimist International Canning District. The branch is part of a large global organisation which aims to increase education and leadership opportunities for women and girls, and despite what the volunteer may have said to Mr Andre it is very much in support of a woman's right to have an abortion.

Mr Andre had walked off after the encounter and said Bunnings "should be checking" the charities properly before approving them.

"It's important that everyones rights are valued, women’s rights, trans rights, lets all be inclusive and love each other," he said,

Bunnings say charity was misrepresented in TikTok video

With the video being viewed more than 55,000 times since Sunday and many demanding "answers", Yahoo News reached out to Bunnings, who corrected Mr Andre.

"We can confirm a community organisation, Soroptimist International Canning District, held a sausage sizzle at our Belmont store in Western Australia over the weekend. We understand the funds raised will be going towards Foodbank WA and Wanslea Grandcare," Bunnings Area Manager, David Di Marco said.

"After we were made aware of a video circulating on social media, we followed up with the organisation to investigate the details who have confirmed they’ve been misrepresented in the video and do not have an anti-abortion stance.

A photo of a sausage sizzle stall by a charity outside the Belmont, WA store at Bunnings.
The charity (not pictured here) at the Belmont store at Bunnings denies being anti-abortion, believing their views were misrepresented. Source: Facebook/Bunnings Belmont

"We take situations like this very seriously, and will always investigate concerns relating to our community barbecues if we believe an organisation does not meet our guidelines."

The hardware chain also confirmed they have a strict vetting process when it comes to approving charities.

"We have guidelines and processes in place for groups to apply, which includes confirming their status as a non-for-profit and outlining the cause behind the fundraising," Mr Di Marco said.

Charity reaches out to Bunnings customer

In an update video, Ms Andre said Soroptimist International Canning District reached out to him, saying the view of "one person" did not represent the charity as a whole.

"They explained it was the view of simply one person working there and they have promised to educate and be more proactive with letting their entire group of volunteers and staff know that the group supports the human right to choose to have an abortion," Mr Andre explained on TikTok. "And supports all women throughout the world to choose what they do with their bodies."

Yahoo has reached out to the Soroptimist International Canning District for comment, however understands the charity will be dealing with the incident internally.

Many people online commended both Bunnings and the charity for reaching out to the customer, as well as Mr Andre for calling out the member.

"Soroptimist do really great work, glad they clarified," one person said on TikTok.

“Thank you for your honesty in the first instance and especially now,” another said, referring to Mr Andre.

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