DONATIONS of blankets, jumpers and other warm clothing and supplies are in demand by country agency ac.care as it works to support vulnerable people through the winter months.
With the impacts of the cost of living and housing crisis still being felt across the Limestone Coast, Riverland and Murraylands, ac.care is expecting greater demand for winter warmer items that will help comfort people in the cold conditions.
Community support has been crucial to enable collection of enough blankets and winter items, with Mount Gambier’s Park Dry Cleaners among several businesses and community groups contributing to the success.
With a desire to support the community after recently taking over the business, Park Dry Cleaners owner Michele Colbert said becoming a donation drop-off point was an “obvious, easy choice”.
“We’re dry-cleaning doonas, blankets and coats all the time, so it made sense,” Ms Colbert said.
Previously employed in the disability sector, Ms Colbert said she helped clients to access ac.care’s services, including homelessness support.
“When you go into business you have an opportunity to do something outside of your core business and so supporting this appeal is one way we can help,” she said.
“You don’t need to be a customer to come in and make a donation – our friendly team are here to help and are right behind this.”
A major driver of donations to the Mount Gambier and Millicent community centres each year is the TripleM and SAFM 96.1FM Limestone Coast 2023 Blanket Appeal, which is again in full swing.
Triple M Limestone Coast breakfast announcer Ewan Grant said the station was proud to continue its lead role in the appeal, which includes a prominent on-air campaign.
“The first fortnight of June has shown how cold winter can be for people living in the Limestone Coast,” Mr Grant said.
“Getting behind ac.care’s appeal gives everyone the chance to help people doing it tough in our community and we are doing what we can to help keep vulnerable people warm this winter.”
ac.care Limestone Coast homelessness service manager Kelly McGuinness thanked the community for the donations received so far, which have been constantly flowing through to people in need.
“Already through autumn we were handing out blankets and warm clothing like jumpers, beanies and scarves to help people keep comfortable,” Ms McGuinness said.
“Vulnerable people often feel the impacts of weather more due to a range of factors, including homelessness, lack of suitable housing, no access to transport and financial pressures, which leave them avoiding things like electric heaters due to bill stress.
“The arrival of winter will only increase requests for warm items so we are grateful for the generous donations and support coming from businesses, groups and local people.”
Donations of blankets and warm clothing can be made at any ac.care site, including the Mount Gambier and Millicent community centres, as well as Park Dry Cleaners.