Local women’s refuge Jodie’s Place received a wonderful early Christmas gift when it was presented with a Toyota Tarago – the culmination of an 18-month fundraising drive by the District 45 Freemasons.
The vehicle will be used to transport clients to doctor’s appointments, Centrelink, the supermarket and chemist – a role that, until now, Jodie’s Place volunteers have used their own cars to do.
With the support of the Masonic Grand Lodge Charity arm Masonicare, the Freemasons raised $17,000 to help buy the much-needed ‘people mover’.
Masonic lodges in Paxton, Cessnock, Kurri, Maitland and East Maitland held several fundraising events, including a trivia night, a country and western night and a high tea.
Mining company Glencore contributed $5000, while Cessnock Mitsubishi sourced the vehicle and assisted financially, and has also entered into an ongoing service agreement that will ensure free maintenance and service costs for the vehicle.
Jodie’s Place coordinator Paula Mudd said they are extremely grateful for the generosity of all involved.
“For the Masonic Lodge, a group of men saying no to domestic violence, coming on board and assisting organisations such as ours, it says a lot,” Ms. Mudd said.
“It’s such a great feeling to be part of such a great community.”
Freemasons District 45 Management Committee chairman Ray Leggett said Jodie’s Place was a most worthy recipient of their support.
“There is no doubt the facility provides a critical community service in offering shelter, counselling and security for victims of domestic violence in the Lower Hunter area,” he said.
“It serves a most important role where the ever-increasing incidence of domestic violence is a scourge on our local community.”
Jodie’s Place can be contacted by calling Hunter Domestic Violence Support and Advisory Services on 4990 9609.