HAMPER FULL OF HAPPINESS: Holly, Parker and Noo Shepherd with one of the hampers which will be given to local people in need through the Helping Hands Hampers Facebook page.
HAMPER FULL OF HAPPINESS: Holly, Parker and Noo Shepherd with one of the hampers which will be given to local people in need through the Helping Hands Hampers Facebook page. Jayden Brown

A helping hand for the needy

A SIMPLE idea to donate washing baskets full of goodies to locals down on their luck has taken off in the Rose City, thanks to the crusade of one generous resident.

In late July, Noo Shepherd cleaned out her pantry and offered the unwanted goods to people in genuine need.

The idea proved so popular Noo has started a Facebook group Helping Hands Hampers, which attracted 576 members in three weeks.

"It's locals helping locals - it gives people satisfaction knowing they are helping," she said. "We're also supporting the Cancer Council by taking a hamper up to the cancer accommodation in Toowoomba once a month."

In just three weeks, 19 hampers have been distributed to people in need - a number which is set to grow as more people come on board.

The whole town has got behind the cause, with a number of businesses also getting involved.

"Carey's Deli beside Woolworths is a drop off place for us - Donna Carey is supporting us all the way," Noo said.

"Bunnings has supported us with a good price on washing baskets and storage shelving."

Noo's partner Holly Shepherd said the Helping Hands Hampers relied on people to get in touch and recommend people who need help.

"It's a way of people helping in a small way," she said. "The hampers will be mostly kept in this town."

Anyone interested in donating towards the hampers is encouraged to phone Noo on 0432 839 841 or Holly on 0481 311 534.

Helping Hands Hampers will run Christmas and Back to School appeals at the end of the year for families in need.



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