A little pride shines on homeless

Blankets for homeless just one part of Lions' work

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BRINGING COMPFORT: Members of the Mawson Lakes branch of Lions with donated goods they have collected.

BRINGING COMPFORT: Members of the Mawson Lakes branch of Lions with donated goods they have collected.

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Small branch making a big impact for homeless suffering winter's cold.

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WARM-hearted folk are in demand in Adelaide's north as the Mawson Lakes branch of Lions looks to make winter easier for the homeless.

With 23 members, the branch may be small - but that doesn't stop it fighting above its weight as it gets through a mountain of community activities.

These include its Blanket Salisbury with Love campaign, in which it collects items such as blankets, toiletries, clothing, non-perishable food to donate to Anglicare SA for distribution to people in need.

Despite only kicking off last year, the program has been a tremendous success and has expanded already.

"It started off in the Salisbury area but last time we had so many donations that we ended up covering most of Adelaide," branch president Lauren Brewer said,

"Last year Salisbury Council was unable to get a truck for the day so we ended up storing the donations at the vice-president's house.

"It was absolutely chockers - it took up the entire living room. When the truck did come, it took about five trips to clear it all."

Lauren said homelessness can take various forms, including living rough and coach surfing. It can affect families as well as individuals, who often go without the necessities of life.

"We had someone go across the road to Woolworths, which is just across the road where we held the event, and bought cereal, deodorant, sanitary items, shampoo, toothpaste and more.

"And of course we had been given an enormous number of blankets and things to keep people warm. We've has also been in touch with a local knitting club, which is knitting scarves and beanies for us as well.

"We also had a lot of pet items as well - people sometimes forget that that homeless people have animals to care for too."

Donations of spectacles and stamps are also welcome.

In addition to the winter drive, the branch collects items around Christmas time to help some families over the period. It will also host Mawson Lakes Christmas Carols, which will be held at Mohbara Park on December 14 at 6pm.

"Last year we had over 5000 people turn up, which was amazing," Lauren said. "We were very happy with that one."

The Lions also partner with the Cancer Council to work on Daffodil Days. "Some of our members have been touched by cancer so it's one way of giving back," Lauren said.

The next winter collection takes place on July 10 at Mawson Centre Courtyard, Main Street, Mawson from 10am-2pm.

New members of all ages are always welcome. Meetings take place on the first Saturday of each month at the Mawson Centre, starting at 10am. For more information, call 0430-188-175 or mawsonlakeslions@gmail.com

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