Members of Kiama Welcomes Refugees have had a busy time of late as the contents of the restaurant above the shops at Jones Beach (which is being transformed into a gym) and Kiama Ocean View Motor Inn (which is being redeveloped) were donated for distribution to the refugee community. Some goods were also donated to the Homestead of Hope.
Over 55 people from the three local Lions clubs (Gerringong, Kiama and Minnamurra); the Anglican, Uniting and Catholic churches; and the Men’s Shed, as well as other members of the community, banded together to collect and sort the goods.
Trailers and utility trucks were piled high with chairs, tables, linen, bedspreads and blankets. Beds and sofas were lowered from balconies.
Special mention must be made of Steve Carlson, son Anthony and friend Aaron (Kiama Fibreglass and Repairs) who provided a truck and some young muscles. John Knox was also able to borrow Kiama Council’s double-decker trailer.
Large quantities of cooking and eating equipment were also donated, as well as tables and chairs. In a mammoth effort, all of the electrical goods were checked and tagged by Barry Silburn. Everything is now in storage.
The group is working with refugee organizations in Wollongong and already newly arrived families from Syria and Liberia are being assessed so the donations can fill their needs.
The donations coincided with news of the imminent arrival of more refugees to the Illawarra.
Around 600 refugees from Syria and Iraq are expected to be resettled in the Illawarra in 2016 as part of Australia’s response to the world humanitarian crisis.
Details: If you would like to join the Kiama Welcomes Refugees Group, please contact Sharon Parker at 0408 217 127 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the email list.