HELPING HAND: Julie Unwin looks forward to filling Leslie Park with supplies for Warwick families
HELPING HAND: Julie Unwin looks forward to filling Leslie Park with supplies for Warwick families Bianca Hrovat

Kindness brings winter warmth to struggling rural families

A WARWICK teacher inspired to help her students have a better life is the muscle behind an event to give rural families a helping hand.

Lone wolf volunteer Julie Unwin knew she had to step up when her students began missing school because they weren't able to access feminine hygiene products.

"As a mother and teacher of girls that just wasn't good enough,” she said.

So when the opportunity came up to bring a truckload of free meals, pantry items and hygiene products to the Rose City, Mrs Unwin couldn't say no.

"I didn't know how much I chewed off until I started to receive the brochures,” she said.

"But whatever difference I can make is worth it to try to put positivity out in the world.”

Mrs Unwin partnered with Brisbane charity Hope Within Reach to bring their yearly Winter Warmth event to Warwick for the first time.

She said the farming community needed help to get through a tough winter ahead.

"It's definitely a harsher cold than the streets of Brisbane,” Mrs Unwin said.

"The cold out here affects more than just humans.

"You have to consider that grass doesn't grow as well, and we haven't had rain to get great winter crops in, so that means more money for feed.”

As a small business owner and part of a farming family Mrs Unwin said she's seen the devastating effects of drought first hand.

"It's hard and everyone is feeling it a little bit,” she said.

"It's a circle because, with the drought, farmers don't have the money to spend in town, so local business owners don't get money to spend either.”

The Warwick mother is making sure kids are catered for as well, with free activities, face painters and a big barbecue for everyone.

"I intend it to be a morale booster for tough times,” she said

"It'll be a great afternoon to get everyone's mind off of their worries.”

Attendees are invited to bring empty bags, eskies and picnic rugs to the event starting at 12 noon.

Local businesses wishing to contribute are encouraged to email Mrs Unwin at julie.unwin@hotmail.com.



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