Gift to the Whit­sun­days

Give Cen­tre united the com­mu­nity

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Ja­cob Wil­son ja­cob.wil­son@whit­sun­day­times. com.au

LOOK­ING back, Ro­tary Club mem­ber Nancy Ta­bell said if it wasn’t for her time vol­un­teer­ing at the Give Cen­tre in Air­lie Beach, she wouldn’t be in the same po­si­tion.

Ms Ta­bell lost much of her liveli­hood fol­low­ing Cy­clone Deb­bie’s wrath but said “com­mu­nity ca­ma­raderie” kept her go­ing.

“I lost ev­ery­thing but I found I needed to do this be­cause it helped me get through it. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had not come in here to work,” she said.

“The ca­ma­raderie in this area has been quite as­tound­ing. I think (Cy­clone Deb­bie) has united the whole com­mu­nity.”

Air­lie Beach Ro­tary Club pres­i­dent David Pad­don said Ms Ta­bell’s ex­pe­ri­ence was what the Ro­tary club was all about.

The Give Cen­tre was es­tab­lished as a cen­tral drop off zone for or­gan­i­sa­tions and char­i­ties to do­nate items to sup­port those strug­gling in the af­ter­math of Cy­clone deb­bie.

Mr Pad­don said it was heart­warm­ing to know peo­ple’s lives were chang­ing for the bet­ter thanks to their work.

“I had a guy come in (last Thurs­day), he is a pen­sioner and lost ev­ery­thing un­der his house (in­clud­ing) his fridge, wash­ing ma­chine and all ap­pli­ances,” he said.

“He said when he asked me for help to get a fridge and a wash­ing ma­chine he didn’t ex­pect to get a new one and he broke into tears.”

The Give Cen­tre, which was at Reef Plaza, closed last Fri­day af­ter its launch on April 15.

Lo­cal and out of town char­ity groups and busi­nesses in­clud­ing Vol­un­teer Whit­sun­days, Whit­sun­day Neigh­bour­hood Cen­tre, St Vin­nies, Red Cross, Or­ange Sky Laun­dry, Team Ru­bi­con, Bet­ter Body Cafe, JJ Richards, Whit­sun­day Party Hire, GIVIT and oth­ers were praised for their var­i­ous means of sup­port.

PHOTO: JA­COB WIL­SON

WORK­ING TO­GETHER: Friends of Ro­tary mem­bers Karyn Davey, Sa­man­tha Burgess, Nell John­son, Nancy Ta­bell and Ro­tary ad­min­is­tra­tor Dal­wyn McEr­lane at the Give Cen­tre on Reef Plaza, which has come to an end.

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