The Free Press (Corowa)
Volunteers hang up their ladles
For over five years, Corowa’s Ladles of Love volunteer group have dished out plenty of love through soup kitchens, meal vouchers and donations of blankets and beanies for community members who have fallen on tough times.
Sadly, the volunteer organisation has decided to finish up their wonderful work after a difficult year, knowing that those in need will be well supported by the local Amaranth Foundation.
The four founding members Maggie Corbett, Dale Pegg, Amber Murphy and David Sloane established the charity organisation in 2016.
Ms Corbett, an aged care nurse, said the idea came about after seeing aged care residents creating squares to make a blanket which were donated to the local church to be sent overseas.
“I thought it would a great idea to do something like that in Corowa,” she said.
“It turned into a blanket and beanie package idea. I mentioned it to a couple of people and all of the sudden it turned into our little committee of like-minded people who were wanting to do something for our town and community.”
Ms Corbett was further motivated after learning just how many people in the community have a hard time making ends meet.
“Originally, we used to have a soup and sausage night at St Mary’s old hall. We would give out care packages like beanies and blankets,” she said.
“We then decided we could accommodate people better with food vouchers. We fundraised with the help of some fantastic volunteers in the community and approached Vinnies and the Guy Street store (Painter’s Cafe) where they do hot meals. The vouchers were distributed by Vinnies, the Intereach hub and St. Mary’s.”
Businesses in Corowa jumped at the opportunity to help the Ladles of Love volunteers recognising the crucial role they played for vulnerable people in the community.
“They supplied us with vouchers and goods to raffle. The support from those business groups was outstanding and very much appreciated,” Ms Corbett said.
“Even the public were incredibly generous. They supported our raffles, bought a sausage at our barbeque fundraisers and would even donate money without purchasing something.”
Ms Corbett said the committee had a lot of fun over the five years working with the community.
“It was such a privilege to be able to be able to this so we could help people in need,” she said.
“It wasn’t just for the homeless, it was for individuals and families in need too.
“We were pretty proud of what we achieved.
Now the Amaranth Food Bowl is up and running and they supply plenty of food. We felt we had accomplished what we needed to.
“To achieve what we have achieved is pretty special.”
Recently, the group purchased sleeping bags and trolleys for the homeless which Vinnies were able to distribute.
“We still had money left over after buying those, so we approached Craig Waldron from IGA, and supplied vouchers which can be used at IGA and distributed by St Vinnies,” Ms Corbett said.
Ladles of Love committee member Reverend David Sloane thanked everyone for their generous assistance over the years.
“On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank all those groups and individuals who over these years have supported us with financial donations and goods for raffles,” he said.
“The Corowa community has been very generous in supporting us in this very worthwhile project.
“I would also like to thank the wholehearted co-operation from Julie and Sharon at the Guy Street corner store and in the last year of Ian at the Guy Street Painters corner store and café.
“We would also like to thank Vinnies, the hub, and Father John who handed out the food vouchers for us.”