Rotarians give Refuge a hand

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Rotary (from left) District Govenor 9980 Tania Lowery, Hand-up Project manager Sonya Chalmers (Invercargill North), Rotary Club of Invercargill North president Sharon Hamilton and Rotary Club of Fiordland president Jane Grant.

IT was a simple idea.

Collect all those unwanted handbags, duffle bags, back packs and toilet bags, and fill them with toiletry items to donate to the Invercargill Women’s Refuge as part of the Rotary Club of Invercargill North Hand-up Project.

Invercargill North president Sharon Hamilton said the project aimed to give women and families in Women’s Refuge a ‘hand-up’.

A small mountain of good-quality bags of varying sizes and styles was donated to the project, along with toiletry items including shampoos, conditioners, soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, tissues and other basic necessities.

“Good quality linen had also been donated,” which was included in the packs… “all sorts of things needed for someone to help them get their life back on track and starting afresh after an abusive relationship”.

People had been ‘very generous’, and “the donations had just grown”, Mrs Hamilton said.

Rotary Club of Fiordland president Jane Grant said a trolley had been set aside in Fresh Choice in Te Anau to accept donations, and the Fiordland Community Pharmacy, in Te Anau, had also donated samples.

“We also appreciate Te Anau Signs which made the signage for the project in Te Anau.”

A working bee was held last weekend to collate the items, with 68 bags put together by a team of Rotarians and given to the Invercargill Women’s Refuge.

Mrs Hamilton said the representative at Invercargill Women’s Refuge told her there was definitely a need in the community for this type of project, as their area covered Southland, Eastern Southland, Western and Central Southland and also included the Lakes District area.

“There is definitely a need… so we may make it a biannual event.”

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