Kempsey West Rotary Club (KWRC) has been very busy of late, aside from their usual activities, they've also been handing out blankets to those in need, and coordinating the provision of tools to bush fire-affected residents in the Upper Macleay.
"The club started giving out clean airline blankets to charity organisations in Kempsey last year, including the Salvation Army, Neighbourhood Centre and Anglican Church," KWRC president Nathan Warwick said.
"This year we have expanded the project to needy persons in the Cowper Electorate, as we received a Commonwealth Government Volunteer Grant to cover the cost of transporting blankets.
"The blankets are immensely popular, high quality, free and just the right size to go inside a sleeping bag."
The Australian Government invited organisations all around the country to apply for a Volunteer Grant under the Families and Communities Program throughout the 2019-2020 period.
The grants provide small amounts of money that organisations and community groups can use to help their communities.
"With the grant money we were able to collect a semi-trailer load of blankets and quilts this year," Nathan said.
"We then contacted the Rotary Clubs in Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, South West Rocks, Macksville, Bellingen and Dorrigo so they could give the blankets out in their communities".
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions, there are no more blankets available from Qantas, but the moment International flights recommence, the project will continue.
KWRC has also been collecting tools for Upper Macleay residents affected by bushfires.
During the November fires, 170 outbuildings were destroyed, and another 70 were damaged in the Upper Macleay Valley.
Along with the structures, many farm, garden and handyman tools were lost, but Nathan hopes his organisation can help replace some of what was lost.
"We are gathering any surplus good quality tools, for those who lost theirs in the fires," he said.
"Many people have donated their tools, one lady from Wauchope donated a full new welding kit that her late husband had brought."
Donations can be anything from handyman tools, such as screwdrivers and drills to gardening tools like rakes and shovels.
Farm equipment such as fencing strainers, tractor tools, pliers is also being sought.
Anybody who wants to donate spare tools, can contact Kempsey West Rotary Club president Nathan Warwick on 0438 939 239.
Alternatively, donations can be left at Scott's Hydraulics, at 2 Woolford Crescent, South Kempsey. Scott's Hydraulics and rotary will handle the transport.
Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan congratulated Rotary Club of Kempsey West on their projects and said it was an extremely worthwhile use the volunteer grants.
"Through this project, the rotary volunteers have not only helped their community of Kempsey, but they have assisted other Rotary Clubs and residents right across the Cowper electorate," he said.
"Our Government's Volunteer Grant is one way we support local charitable organisations doing great things, and I thank the volunteers for their effort and care of our community."