Gold Coasters young and old have rallied to the call of Rotarians and Gold Coast City Councillors, Margaret Grummitt, Jan Grew and Susie Douglas, helping families struck by the flooding putting together care hampers of non-perishable goods – toiletries, nappies, cleaning products, tea, coffee and canned food.
Rebuilding homes, businesses, roads and lives is a daunting prospect for the residents of Toowoomba, Ipswich, Dalby, Theodore, Rockhampton, Brisbane and countless other flood-affected towns along our state’s river network.
It’s going to be a big job over many months. But it’s the small things that often count the most.
Last week, 1300 baskets were picked up by truck and taken to Redbank Plains, Goodna and Lowood. Another 1300 are on their way to Theodore and Dalby and this week, the aim is to pack another 1300 bound for Brisbane. But while volunteers have been eager to help, supplies of donations are running out.
Councillor Margaret Grummitt has asked families to consider 'buying extra' at the supermarket to donate to the cause. 'When you’re doing your supermarket shopping, just buy a few extra items and bring them to us. There are so many people in need and each donation makes a real difference.'
From Wednesday 19 January, volunteers and donations will be relocated from Gold Coast City Council chambers to the Dream Centre Church, Broadbeach Nerang Road, Carrara, where Pastor Sandy Ritchie says they were happy to come to the assistance of the energetic band of volunteers.
'We are fortunate enough to have the space available,' he says. 'Dream Centre has enough space to fit in 100 volunteers and all the goods.'
'We are coming up to Australia Day, we’re all Aussies and we should get together and help our fellow Aussies. It’s our culture and the way we do things. We as a Church endeavour to create an ‘ARK culture’ – doing Acts of Random Kindness on a regular basis to awaken that spirit in the community.'
This Sunday Pastor Sandy is speaking about this very topic: 'the importance of Australians to rise up and help our fellow human beings'.
Dream Centre has been accepting donations of non-perishable goods since the crisis began and encourages all the Gold Coast to get behind this Rotary initiative. People are urged to bring anything in the way of non-perishable goods – shampoo, deodorant, tissues, toilet paper, soap, hand wash, nappies, wipes, brushes and combs, tooth brushes and tooth paste, hygiene products, tinned food and items such as pasta and sauces.
No medication please nor clothing at this stage.
Many large companies and brands have sent up products and cash donations to assist Queensland flood relief – L’Oreal, Alberto Culver who has brands such as VO5, TRESemme and St Ives, as well as Li’Tya, Dr Spiller and Miessence.
'We’re just proud we can help too and be part of the solution,' says Pastor Sandy.
Rotarians on the ground in the towns and suburbs receiving the Gold Coast hampers will be responsible for distributing them, as in many cases they live in those areas and know whose homes have been impacted. In all cases, Rotarians are volunteers so you can be sure your donations are delivered directly to those who need them most.
Any Gold Coast & Tweed businesses who can help with donations of goods, please get in touch with editor, Jeni Bone firstname.lastname@example.org
or 0412 230 002, or drop them in at Dream Centre, Carrara (opp Care Flight helipad).
More information at www.goldcoastcity.com.au