With perfect timing, right before the cold snap and snow, Merimbula resident and REAP Sapphire Coast co-founder Christine Welsh spread the warmth by organising hundreds of blankets to be donated to those in need.
Ms Welsh arranged for 600 blankets and doonas to be delivered to the area from a friend who works for a charity in Sydney and then held a pick up day for local charities to collect the blankets.
Ms Welsh told the local charities to meet her and the other volunteers at Bobbin’s Transport in Pambula between 10am and midday, however by 10.15am all the blankets were gone.
“It was just amazing, it really shows how much these blankets were needed. We had 20 people lined up when we arrived at 10am and within 15 minutes they were all gone.”
There was one condition that Ms Welsh imposed on the charities collecting the blankets.
“These blankets are not for sale, they are to be given away to those in need for free and were not to go to charities who would then sell them, even if the money would go to a good cause. I’ve called this Blanketing the Valley and the main part of this was to make sure everyone in need could keep warm.”
The blankets were collected by various charities including Anglicare, the Uniting Church, South East Women’s and Children’s services and Pastor Ossie Cruse.
“We wouldn’t have been able to do this without my new hero Neville Bobbin who gifted the freight costs to bring the blankets down from Sydney.”
Ms Welsh said she was over the moon at how well the blankets were received and she said she plans to make Blanketing the Valley an annual event.