Number crunching tells the story of community compassion and action to support Orange Sky Laundry in Taree.
Two suitcases packed with 266 women’s undies, 123 men’s undies, 105 pairs of men’s socks and 69 pairs of women’s socks is the outcome of the appeal for socks and undies to gift homeless men and women who use the free mobile laundry service.
“My car boot quickly filled with shopping bags packed with underwear and socks and I am so thankful to the people who acted to meet this practical need,” Ainslee said.
“Christmas is a season when there is a huge call on our community to support various appeals, and it is wonderful that people decided to include Orange Sky Laundry in their giving.
“The gift of new socks and undies will be gratefully received by our friends who use the service. Nobody likes to wear secondhand undies, but it’s a reality for many people who experience homelessness, and so is needing to wear socks and undies that are threadbare or have holes in them.”
Ainslee said the socks and undies drive also provided an opportunity for conversations with people about the work of Orange Sky Laundry in Taree.
“Taree Community Connect Committee donated $23,000 towards ‘Maddy’, our Port Macquarie based laundry van purchased by Make A Difference Port Macquarie for $110,000.
“Generous community support of numerous fundraising campaigns in Port Macquarie brought ‘Maddy’ to our area just over 12 months ago, and the free mobile laundry service is operated by teams of volunteers in Taree, Laurieton, Port Macquarie, Wauchope and Kempsey.
“Maddy comes to Taree twice a week. On Monday the van is parked near Taree Community Kitchen in Victoria Street from 11am and 1pm, and on Friday it is parked near the Red Dove Café at Manning Uniting Church in Albert Street from 10am until noon.
Once the washing is in the machines we sit on our orange chairs and just chat, and honestly, the conversations we share with our friends who use the service are so enjoyable.- Ainslee Dennis - Orange Sky Laundry Taree team leader
“I look forward to hearing of their challenges and successes during the hour or so that it takes to wash and dry a load of clothes. We have a laugh, vent about life, discuss how we would run the country if we were Prime Minister for a week, you know, the normal stuff,” Ainslee laughs.
Ainslee recently travelled to Port Macquarie to work with other Orange Sky Laundry volunteers to gift wrap the socks and undies in readiness for distribution during December. The donations will pool with donations given to the Port Macquarie appeal and be given to the men and women who use the free laundry service in the five locations. Donations to the appeal can still be made by contacting Ainslee on 0423 889 592.
To learn more about Orange Sky Laundry or to volunteer visit orangesky.org.au
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