Online group helps struggling families

OVERWHELMED: Lyndal Odgaard, Brooke Morgan and Sienna Kinnear with some of the presents donated to help five Redlands families have a happier Christmas. Photo: Cheryl GoodenoughFIVE Redlands families are in for an unexpectedly festive Christmas due to the generosity of localmothers.
Nanjing Night Net

Administratorsof the Mum Zone Redlands Facebook group Brooke Morgan and Sienna Kinnear started the appeal as they often come across struggling families.

Families were nominated and five chosen as beneficiaries.

“We filtered through and picked people we thought were really struggling,” said Ms Morgan.

After appealing through the online group, Ms Morganhas been overwhelmed by responses of presents for the 16 children ranging in age from six months to 15 years.

The mothers are also collecting food for hampers for the families to enjoy a special Christmas meal.

Hams have been donated for collection just before Christmas and items such as puddings and chocolate are being added to the hampers.

Lyndal Odgaard got involved in the appeal to give back after being supported by group members over the last year.

In January her Carbrook house was damaged by smoke from a bush fire and since then she has been in hospital.

The family is still waiting for plans to be approved so that they can rebuild.

Ms Odgaard said she had been given flowers while in hospital and a hamper for herself after the fire.

“The whole year it’s just been unrelenting. I have had people just drive past my house and drop off a cup of coffee,” she said.

Ms Morgan said she first planned to collect only for the children, but the response just keptgrowing.

“I thought maybe we would get a colouring book and pencils for a child, but instead we have been overwhelmed by the response. We’re getting really good toys,” she said.

Ms Kinnear said one recipient had cried on the phone the previous day when she heard about the response.

“These families will have a really good Christmas,” said Ms Kinnear.

The Mum Zone Redlands group have enough toys for the children, but would welcome vouchers or groceries to add to the food hampers.

They can be contacted via ‘The Mum Zone –Redlands Qld’ Facebook group.

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