SteppinOut4Youth and Parkview Public School paying it forward during winter months

LAYING awake shivering during the cold winter months is no way to live. 

One Leeton youth group is hoping to ease the burden on those struggling through winter by setting up its own “pay it forward” initiative. 

SteppinOut4Youth hoping to keep all residents warm by starting up a clothes rack full of jackets, jumpers and scarves. 

Those feeling the cold, but can’t afford to buy something new have been urged to take what they need from the rack, which is located in Leeton’s main street. 

Residents wanting to do their part to help can stop by the rack and hang up a clean jacket or jumper for someone else to use. 

SteppinOut president Anna Celi said the concept was working well. 

“People have really embraced the idea,” she said. 

“There have been plenty of donations so far and people are taking what they need, which is the whole idea. 

“The cycle of what is being put up on the racks and then being picked up by someone in need is working well. 

“We never seem to have an empty rack, which shows how generous people are, but also that people do feel comfortable in taking something for themselves or their family. 

“There’s a good turnover of items.

“We thought it would be an easy way to pay it forward and do something for the community.”

The Leeton library knitters group also made new scarves for the rack, which is currently sitting outside the Dentists of Leeton across from the Roxy Theatre. 

A similar initiative at Parkview Public has also been set up, also through the help of Mrs Celi, who is the school’s chaplain.

Students, their families and the wider community are now able to donate blankets using a format like the coat rack. 

Clean blankets can be placed in a new, red plastic bin and those feeling the chill can pick what they need to take home. 

Principal Travis Irvin said it was important those needing a little extra help to get through winter felt no shame in taking part. 

“We all know how expensive it is to heat the home now, so if there are people out there that cold use something like this, we definitely encourage them to pick up a blanket or two,” he said.