It all started from just a rumour. It was at the start of my senior gap year August, 2016. I was visiting family in Tom Price, a small remote mining town in outback Western Australia. Rumour was that because of the mining downturn at the time, truck loads of surplus bed linen from a mining camp were being dumped.
This led to a chain of events where since then a total of around one hundred thousand items of good quality bed linen, valued at around one million dollars, have and are continuing to be distributed to charities here in Australia and around the world. Organisations that support the homeless, drug addiction, refugees, women and children in crisis, orphaned children in South East Asia, just to name a few.
Three years on, the last of three containers has just been filled. The latest 100 ton batch of bed linen that has been made possible thanks to the generous support of mining company, Fortesque Metal Group, Atlas Linen and LinFox transport.
But what has made all this possible is the amazing efforts of a small group of voluntary members of the Mill Point Rotary Club in Perth, Western Australia. Using their local, national and international network connections to charities, plus hundreds of hours of their volunteered time.
It’s hard to imagine what would otherwise have happened to this material. Landfill? It’s certainly easier than the dedicated effort these volunteers have contributed. But to personally experience the heart warming gratitude, for example of young Thai children, one of the recipient charities, to sit next to them on sheets that were otherwise destined for landfill… is a heart warming experience.
The questions remains, what do other big mining companies do with their surplus linen? Surely not dump it? Hopefully not. Not if these grateful Thai children in the above photo could help it.
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