Little things, big difference for homeless
THE meaning behind giving help to the homeless is a little stronger for one Bundaberg mother.
Casey Fletcher grew up in youth hostels and women's shelters and knows how it feels to be in need of help.
This is why Mrs Fletcher and friend Bronwyn McLanders formed the Facebook group Giving Help to the Needy in Bundaberg.
When asked Mrs Fletcher said the focus wasn't about her or what she went through in the past, it was about the now and helping those who may be walking in the same shoes as she did.
The modest mother-of-four said it was all about helping people get their lives back on track just like others had helped her.
"If it wasn't for services like this I wouldn't know where I would be today," she said.
The Facebook group has doubled in size in the last few weeks and now has more than 800 followers, some who need help and others offering help.
Mrs Fletcher said the group was set up so those who no longer needed a household item could place a photo online and another who needed could ask for it.
"There is everything from household furniture, clothing and food," she said.
"Right down to small things like lunchboxes which may not be needed by one family any more but mean so much to another."
The group was formed just two months ago and there has been an overwhelming response from the community.
"Some people don't have anything to donate and they just offer there time," Mrs Fletcher said.
"It only takes one person to make a difference."
Some of the group members may not have transport to drop-off or collect the items but the selfless Mrs Fletcher said she would do all she could to help.
"I just bought myself a trailer for my birthday," she said.
"Now I can collect furniture and delivery it where it's needed."
This week the group was able to make a donation to the Impact Outreach Service and they hoped to do it on a monthly basis.
"One of the best things is, we can see people who have been helped in the past now helping others," Mrs Fletcher said.
"It really has started to become one big family."
Impact Street Outreach co-ordinator Cristel Simmons said the service connected directly to people who needed it most so items such as blankets, food and toiletries were truly valued.
"It's through the generous support of our volunteers, and community donations such as this, that really help us to help the homeless," she said.
"It's often the little things that we take for granted that mean a lot to those sleeping rough."
For more information search Giving Help to the Needy in Bundaberg on Facebook.