Coles Toormina team member Kay Jensen and Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre manager Gai Newman unload the donations.
Coles Toormina team member Kay Jensen and Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre manager Gai Newman unload the donations. Emily Burley

Donated blankets to keep local homeless warm

LOCAL homeless people will be sleeping a littler warmer this winter thanks to a donation by Coles Toormina and its customers.

The store has been collecting blankets and warm clothing brought in by shoppers, and this week donated a load of the winter woolies to Coffs Harbour Neighbour Centre and the Coffs Harbour Uniting Church Soup Kitchen.

The three doonas, 15 blankets, one sleeping bag and eight jackets were presented to the Neighbourhood Centre, with more clothing provided for Soup Kitchen diners.

Coles Toormina team member Kay Jensen said the store regularly worked on projects to help the local community.

"Because it was coming up to winter, I put my head down and thought there's a lot of homeless people around, maybe we could have a drive and collect items for them," Ms Jensen said.

"We were overwhelmed by the donations we received.

"I just had a trolley in the store with a sign explaining what we were doing, where staff and customers who had something hidden in the back of the cupboard they didn't need any more could drop it off."

Ms Jensen said the after the support shown by the community, the store would continue the collection.

"I've still got another couple of trolleys at work that I need to sort out and customers are still bringing items in, so we'll just keep doing it as long as people keep donating."

Coffs Harbour Neighbourhood Centre manager Gai Newman said the donated items will make a significant difference in the lives of local homeless people.

"Many men and women sleep rough, in cars or tents without adequate warmth," Ms Newman said.

"We will distribute the items to help keep people warm as the temperatures drop.

"We have around 300 homeless people we're assisting each year and that number is always rising - the donation is very much appreciated."



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