Banding together to help flood victims

Jan Hupfau (centre front) with fellow residents and some of the collected goods

When Jan Hupfau heard about the devastation from floods in the north of the state, she was determined to do something about it.

At the age of 83, she rallied her fellow residents at Pine Needles Village at Erina and began a collection.

“I ran it by the girls at the front desk first and they thought it was a good idea so we put a notice in our monthly magazine,” she said.

There was an overwhelming response and there are now 61 boxes of goods waiting in the village storeroom for delivery to those most in need.

“There is clothing, kitchenware – all sorts of things” Hupfau said. “There are boxes everywhere – the staff will be glad to see them go, I’m sure.

“One lady, who used to be involved with the Girl Guides, organised her friends and we have 42 hand-crafted blankets in our collection.”

Hupfau said she was motivated by the stories of people losing their homes following the floods and by her daughter, who lives at Brunswick Heads and has assembled a group to assist where they can.

“One man said they could help by just clearing his driveway and they found all sorts of things blocking it – glass, pieces of furniture, even dead animals,” she said.

“These poor people need help to get on with their lives.”

Hupfau, who has always done charity work, said she felt she needed to do whatever she could.

“At first we had trouble organising a truck to take things up north for us. But the Salvation Army has now agreed to collect our boxes on April 8.

“We are still trying to work out exactly where they should go. We are concentrating on Lismore and its suburbs and I would also like to see some things go further up north.”

Terry Collins