Rotary’s Caravan of Hope drew plenty of attention at Caringbah Markets

The caravan, which was donated by a resident of Hervey Bay in Queensland, has been passed like a baton by Rotary clubs down the coast on its way to provide a home for a bushfire affected family on the south coast.

Cathy Mason, of he Rotary Club of Caringbah, said there was “a lot of interest’ from visitors to the markets.

“We were pleased to receive donations, which will be helpful, and we are also putting a call out to see if there are any shire residents who would like to donate or loan a caravan for the same purpose,” she said.

A caravan that has been passed like a baton from Queensland will arrive in Caringbah on the weekend on its way to the South Coast, where it will provide a temporary home for a bushfire affected family.

The donated Goldstream pop-up camper, called Rotary’s Caravan of Hope, will be on display at Caringbah Markets on Sunday from 7am to 1pm.

The Rotary Club of Caringbah, which runs the monthly markets, will seek additional donations on the day, and says 100 per cent of the money raised will be distributed by Milton-Ulladulla Rotary Club to families impacted by the bushfires.

A Hervey Bay resident named Don donated the caravan after his local Rotary Club launched an appeal to help bushfire affected families in NSW.

“It’s been in my garage for years. I am sure someone else can make better use of it,” Don said.

The six-berth caravan is nine-years-old and in excellent condition. Hervey Bay Rotary decided it could be very useful in Lake Conjola, where 89 homes were destroyed and up to another 50 were considered uninhabitable.

The problem was getting it from Hervey Bay to Lake Conjola?

Gwen Watt, the wife of a club member, came up with the idea of having Rotary Clubs along the east coast passing it like a baton.

The idea was simple but required detailed planning and a lot of phone calls.
The schedule was:
9 February: Hervey Bay to Caloundra
20 February: Caloundra to Tweed Heads to Ballina
21 February: Ballina to Coffs Harbour to Taree
22 February: Taree to Newcastle to Sydney
23 February: Caringbah Markets 7am to 1pm.

24 February: A representative from Milton Ulladulla Rotary will pick up the van and take it to Lake Conjola
Cathy Mason, of Caringbah Rotary, said,”We are hoping to raise funds as well as awareness, as many other people may have caravans that they can lend or donate to families while their homes are being rebuilt”.

“I believe there are some families down there living in tents,” Ms Mason said. “This unique event shows the power of Rotary working together for the community.”