THE spirit of giving has been alive and well at the Lorn Park Bowls Sports & Recreation Club this festive season.
The community-minded club has been even more so in the lead-up to Christmas with a charity toy drive producing a pile of presents to be distributed by Carrie’s Place.
Having heard of an appeal for toys, club directors and members got behind the initiative and ended up with over 50 items in their front foyer.
Club secretary-manager Heather Maguire said it had been a simple process to kick off and everyone was happy to help.
“One of the directors said they had heard (Carrie’s Place) had put an appeal out for children’s toys,” Mrs Maguire said.
“We hadn’t done anything like that before, so we thought we’d give it a shot.
“Now we’ve got a pile of toys.”
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The donations were presented to Carrie’s Place on Monday and will be used in its hampers.
“It just came to a board meeting and we decided to see how the members felt about it,” Mrs Maguire said.
“They were obviously touched by it.”
Some toys have been donated “as-is”, while others have been wrapped with tags designating possible recipients (ie. boy, 5-10 years) and some have been wrapped without information.
Mrs Maguire said thought had gone into the donations, with people happy to give something.
“One lady put in six boxes of chocolates,” she said.
“She had won the meat raffle at the club the week before and wanted to give something back.
“The response we’ve had from members, they like being able to participate. It’s a very community club.”
Lorn Park Bowls Sports & Recreation Club has about 600 members.
“The board had no idea of what type of response the charity drive would produce,” Mrs Maguire said.
“We put a shopping trolley out and decorated it. A week later I had to get my daughter’s playpen; it was lucky I still had it around.
“Now we’ve got a playpen full.”
Having had a successful charity drive first time out, any future fund-raising will depend on what is happening in the community at that point in time.
“We might do something that is inspired by what’s happening at the time, like Australia Day,” Mrs Maguire said.
“I’ve been told there has been a call for drought affected areas and come January there are bushfires.”
A service helping people feel safe
Carrie’s Place has been providing a range of domestic violence and homelessness services in the Maitland and Hunter area since 1979.
Carrie’s Place provides a range of programs for people experiencing domestic and family violence, and/or homelessness, employing qualified workers with specialist skills who provide case management and court advocacy.
People experiencing domestic violence, and/or homelessness can access Carrie’s Place services by appointment through the resource centre in Maitland.
Services include a rapid response worker; free legal and counselling appointments, therapeutic sessions and computer access; emergency relief support (grocery and personal care packages); and social and support activities.
To make an appointment to access Carrie’s Place services, phone (02) 4934 2585.