Cockatoo’s hamper helpers

Fire brigade volunteers man the barbecue.

Each year, St Luke’s Anglican Church in Cockatoo makes hampers for people who struggle at Christmas.

Cockatoo Rural Fire Brigade captain Chris White spoke to the brigade management team and the wider brigade last year.

“And we decided to give something back to a cause that we thought worthy, as opposed to receiving donations ourselves,” he said.

Capt White explained that the brigade could not pass on any funds it had received, as it could be seen as a misuse of public donations.

“So to get around this, we decided to have a community barbecue, handing out fire season information and giving away free sausages in bread to whoever wanted one – or six!

“All food was kindly donated by the Cockatoo IGA.

“We had signs up saying that any donations given will be passed on in full to St Luke’s for the hamper appeal.

“We have found in the past that if you give the food away and don’t charge, people will often donate more as they see us putting in extra time.”

The CFA crew raised $694 on Saturday 17 November.

“We have an empty fire extinguisher in the IGA for people to donate to the brigade every now and again if they wish,” Capt White said.

“During the months of October and November, the brigade voted to donate these funds as well.

“We changed the sign on the extinguisher so that anyone who puts money in it knows where it’s going.

“We have already collected over $300 from this as well.

“The true spirit of a local community is shown regularly in our town and we could not be prouder to be a part of it.”

St Luke’s invites the brigade down to the church each year just before fire season to provide a blessing.

“This year I’ll be presenting them with over $1000 that we have raised,” Capt White said.