$1000 to Meals on Wheels

Kirsty Wallett presents Meals on Wheels Narrandera’s Mikara Nelson with $1000 raised from the Earlies’ Rod Run Pin-up Workshop and Competition.

Meals on Wheels Narrandera has received a donation of $1000 from the Earlies’ Rod Run Pin-up competition.

The decision to use the pin-up competition as a fundraiser was a no-brainer for organiser Kirsty Wallett.

“In my day job, I work with small charities, and so I know what’s really important to them.

“Coming from the local area – I’m originally from Leeton – I know it’s really hard for money to stay in the town that’s raised in the town,” Ms Wallett said. “I really wanted the beneficiary to be a small charity that perhaps doesn’t get the dollars that go around the town for charity.

“I got some feedback from a few people that I know who still live in Narrandera and they were in agreement that yes, that was something that the community was aware of and that it was important for it to stay in the town.”

“And we really appreciate it,” added Narrandera Meals on Wheels Coordinator Sonya Hammer. “We also understand that there are a lot of charities in Narrandera that need that money. To be given this is a real bonus for our organisation.”

Meals on Wheels in Narrandera is provided by the Commonwealth Home Support Program, but relies heavily on volunteers to keep the organisation going.

“The key aspect of Meals on Wheels is our volunteers. Without our volunteers we would really struggle. In fact we would be absolutely lost,” Ms Hammer said. “The volunteers deliver our meals to clients, they help with some of our office work if required, they also work in the freezer, packing meals, and the do the out-of-town meal delivery run. The volunteer aspect of it is just essential.”

The pin-up competition involved a paid workshop the day before to teach would-be contestants – and the odd interested bystander – the black art of hair and makeup. Money raised from the workshop was to be the prime fundraiser, but Ms Wallett put out a tin for the public to donate funds to during the competition on Sunday as well.

“We got hundreds of dollars in five minutes. People are so happy to give. We ran out of money tins, that’s how generous the local community was.  I think we will definitely make that a fixture in coming years, then there’s the ability for the people in the crowd at the Show and Shine to give.

“We hope next year to be able to raise money for Meals on Wheels again. Hopefully we can give them more than $1000 next year,” Ms Wallett said.

According to Ms Hammer, it is yet undecided exactly what the money will go towards. Narrandera Meals on Wheels is overseen by a committee and ultimately it will be the committee who decides how the money is spent.

“That money will directly help our local clients. There are lots of things that they can choose to spend that money on. It might just help with our electricity bill, or they might choose to purchase another piece of equipment.

“To actually be approached to get a donation like this is just wonderful for us. It will really help our local clients.”

Narrandera Meals on Wheels provides approximately 14,000 meal items for local clients every year. As Narrandera Meals on Wheels is also a distributor to other service providers, they also supply between 50,000 and 60,000 meal items to other services.

“At the moment, we’re delivering to Leeton, Griffith, Murrumbidgee, Temora, Holbrook, Henty,” Ms Hammer said. “We supply meals to people that are frail, or older people that are over 65, or 50 years for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, people who are on low incomes, who are homeless, or who are at risk of homelessness.

“The donation is amazing.”

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