Tradies delivers charity drive for Orana at a time of great need

Hundreds of pantry items have been donated by Sutherland Shire in an act of kindness that could not have come at a better time.

Through the Tradies non-perishables drive for the Orana emergency relief pantry, the donations are part of an annual collection that goes towards helping families and individuals doing it tough during winter.

Among those who donated goods, were three children who saved about $100 between them across six months after they heard about the empty shelves at Orana.

"We are so proud to be part of such a generous and kind-hearted community," Tradies general manager Jason McMaster said.

"We were already impressed by the number of people bringing in items or donating their loose change, but this story was truly heartwarming."

The donation drive for Orana started in early June, when Tradies community relations manager Kathryn Tanner noticed a Facebook post from Orana showing empty shelves in their emergency relief pantry.

"We had already started collecting non-perishables through our staff, but hadn't yet decided where the items would be donated," she said.

"As soon as I saw the photo of the empty shelves and read Orana's post about how many of clients would go without if the pantry was empty, I knew we could help."

The club posted on its own Facebook page that they were collecting items for Orana and the donations came flooding in from all over the community.

In addition to the pantry items, Tradies staff, members and guests donated loose change at the club's coin collection containers.

Throughout June, more than $230 was raised for Orana to purchase additional items for the pantry.

"When we saw the table at Tradies overflowing with donations, we were blown away," Orana chief executive Elizabeth O'Neill said.

"A month ago, our cupboards were bare and now, thanks to our amazing community, we'll be able to help so many people who would otherwise go without this winter. It's particularly good timing as the winter school holidays are approaching and we often see an increase in requests for help at this time."

Orana's pantry provides free food to individuals and families who are struggling due to financial hardship, social isolation, homelessness and domestic violence.

Orana estimates that on a weekly basis, the pantry assists at least 20 families and individuals in need.

Donated food can be dropped at Orana, 3a Stapleton Avenue, Sutherland between 9am and 4pm weekdays or at Tradies Gymea at any time.

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