Local champions at ‘heart’ of recovery
A COMMITTED combination of efforts by the Volunteer Whitsundays group and a GoFundMe fundraising site has helped those recovering from Cyclone Debbie, with a total of $24,627 raised.
The GoFundMe page was created by Airlie Beach woman Tracey Lord, who said generous donations had been made from throughout Australia and the money would now be divided between the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre ($4000), Eco Barge Clean Seas ($4000), Whitsunday Turtle Rescue Centre ($2000), Fauna Rescue Whitsundays Association Inc ($2000), PCYC Wild Ones Program ($4000), Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network ($4000), and 20 vouchers for counselling at Whitsunday Professional Counselling ($1200).
A free event for children and families hosted by Cosmos Burgers and the Reef Gateway Hotel would also be funded with $3627 and held later in the year.
Initially, Ms Lord said volunteers had asked for donations to buy gumboots and gloves to help with the clean-up – or they purchased necessities with their own money – but they quickly realised the large scale of work to be done and began the GoFundMe page, which attracted widespread attention.
Volunteer Whitsundays co-ordinator Jo Sweeney said it was heartwarming to donate money to these wonderful organisations that were continuing to help the community and environment.
“We really do have so many passionate local champions,” she said.
For a breakdown of how each charity will spend their funds, visit www.whitsundaytimes.com.au.
COMMUNITY SPIRIT: A total of $24,627 has been raised towards the recovery from Cyclone Debbie.