Residents organise appeal for former J Smith and Son workers
A GROUP of concerned residents is getting behind the 67 Smith and Sons workers, who lost their jobs last week, by setting up an appeal to help.
The Community Spirit Christmas Appeal was launched yesterday, with all money raised going to help workers in need over the Christmas period.
J Smith and Son went into liquidation on November 25 with many employees not receiving their entitlements.
A few workers have been able to get new jobs but many others haven't and are struggling with bills and expenses in the lead up to Christmas.
Some have had to put their homes on the market.
Sue Manton has been leading the appeal linking council, community groups and business to get the idea off the ground.
She said the appeal was a great way for the community to let the workers know it cared.
"The Gympie community has a great record for supporting local charities," Mrs Manton said. "We need to get behind all these charities but at the same time let these workers know we care."
Appeal organisers are hosting a charity walk on Thursday afternoon, from the Gold City Centre stage to Nelson Reserve.
Mrs Manton said walkers would gather at 5pm to leave at 5.15pm as a symbolic show of support.
The walk will end at the Sound Shell in Nelson Reserve in time for the unveiling of the council's new Christmas tree.
A council representative will give a speech and carol singers will entertain as walkers indulge in a sausage sizzle.
Mrs Manton said the walk was being held in the afternoon so all workers could attend.
"It's a way to show we care and to put ourselves in the shoes of people without jobs."
The group has also opened a bank account for the community to donate money to the appeal.
Mrs Manton said 100% of funds would go to the people who have lost jobs.
Gympie Mayor Ron Dyne said he was backing the appeal and hoped to turn it into an ongoing fund that could help other people in need.
The appeal ends at the Apex Santa Fair, December 21, and funds will be distributed in time for Christmas.
Community Spirit Christmas Appeal
Account number: 22101210