Cool­bellup shows car­ing side

Cockburn Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

COOBY Cares has helped dis­trib­ute hun­dreds of care pack­ages and pieces of fur­ni­ture to lo­cal fam­i­lies in need since its in­cep­tion in 2016. Hav­ing re­cently ex­panded into Fre­man­tle and Melville, more strug­gling fam­i­lies can now re­ceive a help­ing hand from the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s every­day he­roes.

WHAT started as a dev­as­tat­ing event for one fam­ily has opened the door for hun­dreds of oth­ers to re­ceive a help­ing hand.

When a Cool­bellup fam­ily lost their house in a fire, Gary Allen was among a group of res­i­dents who banded to­gether through a dona­tion drive to help get the fam­ily back on their feet.

From there the idea for a for­malised ser­vice to help lo­cal fam­i­lies in need be­gan to take shape and in May 2016 Cooby Cares was born.

Mr Allen said the aim had been to con­nect with fam­i­lies and help make their homes into places they could feel safe.

“We wanted to make Cooby Cares a dona­tion ser­vice where peo­ple who wanted to help oth­ers can do so eas­ily,” he said.

“We were amazed how many peo­ple were sleep­ing on the floor or sit­ting on junk with no fridges or wash­ing ma­chines, and very quickly we had picked up beds, so­fas, kitchen items, white goods and other items from other sub­urbs and de­liv­ered them into Cool­bellup.

“In the first few weeks it was ob­vi­ous that the need was much greater than my ini­tial es­ti­mate of two hours per week and we were do­ing 30 hours per week. Af­ter nine months we started food pack­ages and re­cently we started fresh food pack­ages.”

Two years on, Mr Allen said the gen­eros­ity of those who do­nated goods had en­abled Cooby Cares to help more than 400 peo­ple.

“We have shifted around 50 house­holds full of fur­ni­ture and last Christ­mas we pro­vided over 60 food ham­pers and 130 chil­dren’s presents,” he said.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d487049

Gary Allen, from Cooby Cares.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d487049

Cooby Cares pres­i­dent Gary Allen.

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