GENEROUS DONATION: Mater Rockhampton director of nursing Claire Letts, Sister Rita Connor, executive officer Annette Czerkezow and Sister Maria Jean Rhule surrounded by the hampers earmarked for drought-affected families in Aramac.
GENEROUS DONATION: Mater Rockhampton director of nursing Claire Letts, Sister Rita Connor, executive officer Annette Czerkezow and Sister Maria Jean Rhule surrounded by the hampers earmarked for drought-affected families in Aramac. Contributed

Hampers of goodwill head west to drought-affected homes

HAMPERS stacked high filled the Rockhampton Mater's foyer last Friday, earmarked for families in need, both here in Rockhampton and in severely drought-affected rural communities.

Some 60 Mater staff and friends gave thanks in a liturgy held on Friday morning, before hampers were loaded aboard Saint Vincent de Paul utilities for local families and the Sisters of Mercy's utility ready for the long drive to Aramac near Longreach.

Each year staff at the Mater Hospital adopt 16/17 families through the Saint Vincent de Paul "Adopt a Family" drive.

This year at a Mission Integration Committee meeting it was decided to adopt some families from the west, as well as some local families.

Consequently Sister Rita Connor was contacted and through Anglicare enabled us to adopt seven families from the Aramac area as well as 10 local families.

Sister Moira Truelson along with Mary Williams from the Mercy Office drove the utility to Aramac, filled with hampers to help bring some Christmas cheer to families who may otherwise go without this festive season.

The Rockhampton Mater's pastoral care co-ordinator, Sister Maria Jean Rhule, was overwhelmed with the generosity of the Mater staff and supporters, who donated all the household, food items and gifts for the hundred or so hampers.

"The staff here at the Mater show great compassion for those less fortunate than themselves," Maria explained.

"Time and time again they so selflessly contribute in any way they are able, to numerous causes and community groups. The drought has ravaged so many families who have had to de-stock their farms as they cannot feed their livestock.

"Our only hope is this festive season, the hampers and gifts will bring some joy, and in some small way, let the residents of Aramac know that we as a community are thinking of them through tough times."