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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

A little kindness makes big difference

A little kindness goes a long way.

And, in this ever-changing world, that compassionate act alone could mean more than ever.

So much so, The Place: Charlestown Community Centre has teamed up with Sydney-founded charitable organisation ProjectKindness to unveil its Kindness Cupboard within the Hunter.

The special storage space will be filled with non-perishable foods and hygiene items available for anyone in the region who finds themselves in need.

Programs and marketing coordinator Grace Folkard said The Place was more than happy to join forces with the team at Project Kindness.

“They contacted us because they’re looking to branch out into the [Hunter] area,” she explained.

“So, it’s something we’re proud to share with the community.

“The Kindness Cupboard will not only provide a helping hand to those who require it, but it’ll also offer an opportunity for every resident to support other locals.

“It’s mainly based on the premise of ‘take what you need and leave what you can’.

“That ensures people won’t feel uncomfortable when they pop into The Place.

“Even though we launched the Kindness Cupboard just before Christmas, it’s already stocked up.

“Residents are also welcome to donate goods and products.

“At the end of the day, every little bit makes a big difference.”

And, unfortunately, with several government initiatives being cut or wound down soon, things may remain tough for some time yet.

In the Shortland federal electorate, which takes in suburbs such as Charlestown, Boolaroo, Cardiff, Swansea and Windale, there are an estimated 17,000 residents on JobKeeper (which ends on 28 March) and more than 12,000 receiving the Coronavirus Supplement (which ends on 1 April).

The financial strain, when these payments are no longer handed out, is likely to put added pressure on individuals and families.

That’s when The Place will play an important role.

“There are plenty of people who need assistance [at the moment],” Ms Folkard said.

“Sadly, it’s not just our regulars either.

“It might be someone new to the area or somebody who lost their job recently.

“Everyone’s situation can change quickly, especially due to the impacts of COVID-19.

“That’s why the Kindness Cupboard is accessible for anyone.”

Charlestown MP Jodie Harrison praised the centre for its resourcefulness, too.

“This is a fantastic initiative on the part of The Place and ProjectKindness,” she said.

“It’s another example of how the Charlestown electorate comes together to support those facing tough times.”