Volunteer Dao Pham helps out at the Orange Sky laundry van in Ipswich.
Volunteer Dao Pham helps out at the Orange Sky laundry van in Ipswich. Rob Williams

The unique charity wanting to help Gympie homeless

ORGANISERS hope a meeting tomorrow will pave the way for charity organisation Orange Sky Laundry to expand their services to Gympie.

Gympie Region Volunteer Centre co-ordinator Cassandra Elstob said agencies and organisations interested in helping the charity come to Gympie had been invited to meet tomorrow in Mary St to gather volunteers and raise funds.

Representatives from the Department of Human Services and Centrelink are also expected at tomorrow's meeting.

Orange Sky Laundry operates out of a van, and gives homeless people the chance to wash their clothes and have a shower.

The charity started on the streets of Brisbane, and is believed to be the world's first mobile laundry service for the homeless.

It costs Orange Sky Laundry $6 to wash and dry a load of laundry, and the charity relies on donations.

Ms Elstob said the long-term goal is to organise a "massive event" next year to raise enough funds to get the Orange Sky service up and rolling in Gympie, and organisers are already searching for volunteers for the charity.

"We're going to try to recruit volunteers for them, so that in Gympie the van would be available to homeless people," Ms Elstob said.

"We want to recruit [now], because we will start training the volunteers so that when we get the funding they can hit the ground running."

She said the charity would provide much-needed support for the region's homeless people.

"In Gympie, we are lacking in resources; there's not enough housing," she said.

"What we would love to do is to get them out to Tin Can Bay every now and then as well, because Tin Can is even more isolated."

She said the charity could also help connect homeless people with the services they need.

"We're trying to get the Salvation Army on board, because they do a free lunch every Friday, and some of these people may not be aware," she said.

"Some of them might be eligible for financial assistance."

Ms Elstob said organisers were searching for volunteers.

For more information about Orange Sky Laundry or to donate, visit their website at www.orangeskylaundry.com.au

To register interest in volunteering, attend the meeting at 2/107 Mary St at 10am-11.30am or email Ms Elstob at volunteer@chsn.org.au

Gympie Times


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