28 May 2021

New shoes put a spring in the step of bushfire affected people in Cobargo and Quaama

| Albert McKnight
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Jenny Whitaker, Veronica Abbott and Jenny Taylor holding donated shoes at Quaama Hall

From left: Jenny Whitaker, Veronica Abbott and Jenny Taylor hold donated shoes from Leef Bega at Quaama Hall. Photo: Supplied.

When an opportunity arose to donate new shoes to needy people, the two Jennys from mobility equipment supplier Leef Bega immediately thought of helping the Quaama and Cobargo communities that were affected by the Black Summer bushfires.

Leef Bega branch manager Jenny Whitaker seized the opportunity to donate about 60 pairs of footwear when the company’s national manager was visiting the store to rationalise stock. Sales consultant Jenny Taylor also thought it was a great idea.

“A new pair of shoes makes anyone feel good,” said Ms Taylor.

They were able to pass on the footwear – including sneakers, boots, sandals and warm slippers for winter – to the worthy cause because Leef is no longer stocking shoes.

On Sunday, 23 May, Ms Whitaker and Ms Taylor gave the new shoes to Veronica Abbott from Quaama Renewal Projects, and committee members from the Cobargo Tourist and Business Association.

They will be distributed to members of both communities who lost belongings in the 2019-2020 bushfires.

Rene Sundell, Lorraine James, Jenny Whitaker, Beth Dogan and Jenny Taylor with donated shoes in Cobargo

From left: Rene Sundell, Lorraine James, Jenny Whitaker, Beth Dogan and Jenny Taylor with the donated shoes in Cobargo. Photo: Supplied.

Ms Whitaker said it felt wonderful to give away the footwear, and has received feedback from Cobargo residents who are delighted at receiving the donations.

“To somebody who has lost everything, it means the world to them because you can’t use secondhand shoes – they are moulded to other people’s feet,” she said.

“To get some nice, clean shoes is just a wonderful feeling.”

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