Residents raise money for Toowoomba’s homeless
FUNDS raised in support of last week's Homeless for a Week project are still being tallied and the residents at Drayton Villas Retirement Village can't wait to add their contribution to the final sum.
The residents were spurred to action by the actions of local businessman and pastor Nat Spary, who spent a week living on the streets to raise money and awareness of Toowoomba's homelessness problem.
The residents raised $300 through donations and other fundraising efforts and hope that their support, along with that of other local groups, will add to the $38,000 already counted.
Drayton Villas has raised tens of thousands of dollars for various local charities over the years and the residents jumped at the chance to help this cause.
"Homelessness has been an ongoing issue in Toowoomba for many years," said Village Manager Greg Droney, "and the Homeless for a Week program is a wonderful idea and a great cause to get involved with."
"The residents were all extremely generous in their support."
Resident Helen Curtis, who attends the Toowoomba City Church where Mr Spary is a pastor, was the first to hear about the project and was quick to get the rest of the village community on board.
"A note went around to everyone and they gave quite a bit," Helen said.
"Sleeping out on those streets - and it was below zero some of those mornings - we just felt for him."
Despite the freezing temperatures and the harsh Toowoomba winds, Mr Spary finished the challenge and raised enough money to keep Toowoomba's only soup kitchen running.
The Basement Soup Kitchen feeds about 50 people each day and its closure would have had a widespread impact.
"It goes to show that every bit counts," Mr Droney said.