Big hearts home in on needy
THE "thankyous" just keep coming, as Toowoomba rallies around Base Services.
The team behind The Basement Soup Kitchen and 2nd Shot social enterprise cafe and food truck revealed in mid-March that they were struggling to cope with increasing demand as revenue dropped by about 70 per cent.
Founders Nat and Tiffany Spary said Base had seen dozens of new faces of all ages asking for help for the first time as a result of coronavirus-related job losses.
They were serving lunch to about 100 people a day at the same time as fundraising events were being cancelled or postponed, and clubs and other charities forced to close their doors.
As well as general restrictions on gathering, many volunteer services are seniors-based, posing greater risks to them from coronavirus. On top of providing weekday lunchtime meals - which they had to change to takeaway - Base Services also offers swags, clothing, and hygiene and food packs to homeless people.
Fitzy's was one of the first to lend a hand, donating a van-load of vegetables and other perishables to the cause when it was forced to close its own doors.
Four Daughters Beef donated 19kg of meat, and Wild Duck Suspension and Enza Zaden dropped off bulk fruit and vegetables.
Toowoomba Hospital Foundation has organised a variety of donations over the weeks, including milk, bread, sausages and, for Easter, hot cross buns.
Emu Gully Adventure Education group has donated a trailer-load of food, Hub Assist provided pumpkins galore, and Liebke Tyres filled their work van with donated socks, beanies, gloves and blankets, which they had collected for the homeless and those doing it tough.
"Our incredible community is again setting the bar very high with their generosity," Base's Nat and Tiffany posted on Facebook on April 20.
Chris Liebke said his clothing drive had been prompted by speaking to Nat about the difficulties people were likely to face to keep warm with winter coming on.
"Everyone's got spare socks, gloves or even beanies … anything that will keep people warm," he said.
Seniors can help with donations of vouchers, non-perishable goods, toiletries and blankets to the centre at 10 Neil St from 8.30am-4.30pm weekdays, and by grabbing a coffee at 2nd Shot to help keep the funds coming in. Base is not currently accepting volunteers.