We all know that winter in the Darling Downs and South West Queensland can be tough, with temperatures that drop below zero and windy weather that can chill you to the bone.

Keeping warm during the cold dark months of winter is vital for our health and wellbeing. However, it's not always easy and winter is the time when those who are vulnerable and doing it the toughest often struggle the most.

Every year Lifeline Darling Downs answers the call from hundreds of south west Queensland residents who are struggling to cope during the cold winter months. This year we partnered with numerous individuals and dozens of organisations through the Share the Warmth Appeal. Lifeline Darling Downs called upon work groups, families and friends and the community as a whole to donate their quality winter items and where possible make monetary donations to support those in need.

One of the main focuses of the campaign was Share the Warmth Week (which began on Monday 18 May) which brought work groups together to support the appeal through online donations or by setting up fundraising pages.

Share the Warmth Week challenged participants to:

  1. Connect (virtually) with their team, their friends or family.
  2. Show us how they were keeping warm, dressing up in their best winter outfits, making their favourite winter drink or sharing their hot tips on staying warm.
  3. Share the Warmth by making a donation to the appeal and posting photos of their crew and tagging Lifeline Darling Downs on social media.

The goal of Share the Warmth week was to raise $5,000 which would enable Lifeline Darling Downs to reach out to those in need of meals, hygiene packs, warm clothing and blankets, emergency food packs, and free counselling services.

At the end of June our Share the Warmth Winter Appeal came to a successful close receiving over $10,000 in cash donations and nearly $8000 worth of winter gear

Share the Warmth Appeal received over $10,000 in cash donations and nearly $8000 worth of winter gear

Not only did these donations help to change the winter story for many in our region doing it tough it also served to support many who were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Times such as these present unique challenges for us all, especially to those who are already vulnerable and experiencing poverty and homelessness. However limiting the coronavirus has been, it was inspiring to see how our community did not allow it to limit their generosity towards those who genuinely needed support.

Together we have been able to provide 200 people with warm clothing and blankets, as well as producing 100 hygiene packs, 100 individual meals, 60 family food packs, and 16 half-hour counselling sessions*. 

Share the Warmth Appeal has genuinely helped to change lives in 2020.

We would like to thank everyone who showed their support and helped us to provide lifesaving supplies and services to those who are cold and hungry this winter, with a special thanks to our matched giving sponsor LJ Hooker.

Also, thanks goes to those workplaces that participated in Share the Warmth Week; Triple M, Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, Shiny Happy Art, Clo Lawyers, TAFE Queensland, Toowoomba and Surat Basin EnterpriseClassic Recruitment and Human Resources, Lions Clubs InternationalThe Empire Theatre, Middle Ridge Uniting Church, Accession3 Accountants and Financial Planners and Power Tynan.

If you’d like to learn more about how Lifeline Darling Downs is supporting the community - learn more here.

As always, if you or someone you know is experiencing crisis please call 13 11 14, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or text 0477 13 11 14 between 6pm and midnight 7 days a week.

For all other enquiries you can contact Lifeline Darling Downs on 1300 991 443.

*These figures are an approximation, actual figures may vary due to presented needs.