Cool Harmonies choir put a little love in the community's heart on September 6, raising $3,256 to give a helping hand to Orange Sky Australia. The charity provides a free mobile laundry service for homeless people on the Sunshine Coast.
The donation was boosted with an additional $250 from Marcoola Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank and two baskets full of toiletries which will be distributed to people using the laundry service each week.
More than 100 people enjoyed the annual fundraising event, held at the Uniting Church hall in Coolum Beach, which featured heart-warming harmonies and a delicious morning tea.
"It's such a joy to bring the community together at these events as we not only get to share our varied and uplifting songs with everyone but have the opportunity of raising funds for local not for profit organisations," choir director Yvonne Corstorphin said.
The event included a presentation by Service Vehicle Manager, Rob Scoates and his wife Delise from Orange Sky, which has been operating on the Sunshine Coast for the past three years.
"I want you to imagine you are cold, hungry, lonely and don't know where you will lay your head tonight to sleep," Mr Scoates asked the audience during his presentation.
"And with what little cash you have in your pocket, will you spend it on food or go to a laundromat to wash your clothes each week?"
Mr Scoates said there were about 1,600 people who were homeless on any given night on the Sunshine Coast, includes those sleeping in cars or couch surfing with friends, with about 42% of them under 25 years of age.
Over the last three years, Orange Sky has delivered 250 washes on the Sunshine Coast, with 60 volunteers and approx. 360 hours of non-judgemental conversation.
"With our homeless friends, it's knowing that someone cares about them, and what we do at Orange Sky is all about hope," he said.
Mr Scoates told the audience the free mobile laundry service, which relied on donations and sponsors to keep the vehicle on the road, cost about $200 per week to cover the laundry, maintenance and insurance.
About Orange Sky Australia
Orange Sky provides a platform for every day Australians to connect through a regular laundry and shower service. The focus is on creating a safe, positive and supportive environment for people who are too often ignored or who feel disconnected from the community. Their volunteers are not social workers or experts on homelessness - they are empathetic listeners and great conversationalists.
Across Australia Orange Sky has grown from:
- 1 to 26 vans
- 6 locations in Brisbane to 202 locations around Australia
- 20 volunteers to more than 1800
- 802 tonnes of washing every week
- 4800 showers to date
For more information visit https://orangesky.org.au or contact Rob Scoates on 0478 608 509. For further information about Cool Harmonies choir contact Yvonne Corstorphin on 0403 013 555