WELCOME FINDS: Philip George from Gold Coast Airport hands over lost property to You Have a Friend founder John Lee.
WELCOME FINDS: Philip George from Gold Coast Airport hands over lost property to You Have a Friend founder John Lee. Contributed

Airport's stray items are no lost cause

A TREASURE trove of items, including rare and valuable pieces, are handed in as lost property at Gold Coast Airport each year.

Reuniting items with their owners is a top priority, with about 500 items collected and catalogued every month.

However many remain unclaimed and are eventually given a new life.

For eight years Gold Coast Airport has partnered with Tweed Heads charity You Have a Friend, with unclaimed items donated to help local homeless people, single parents and children.

Gold Coast Airport chief operating officer Marion Charlton said donating unclaimed items meant they ended up with people in need, rather than landfill.

"Many items are quickly reunited with their owners and all are kept for at least a month but other commonly found items such as strollers and clothing are never claimed,” she said.

"We also donate unclaimed eye glasses to OPSM in Tweed Heads, which catalogues the prescriptions for the Lions Club, who distribute them to individuals who can't afford new glasses.”

You Have a Friend founder John Lee said proceeds from the op shop helped fund outreach programs that provided more than 300 meals each week.

"We provide a breakfast service for local school children to make sure no child misses out on a good start to the day,” Mr Lee said.

Ms Charlton said operations staff worked hard to reunite toys with grateful families and even sent photos of teddies, enjoying their time at the airport, to children who had mistakenly gone on holidays without their special friend.

"It is always fantastic to see the reaction of children when they get their teddy back when returning from holidays or the gratitude of a holidaymaker when they retrieve a camera full of precious memories from the Gold Coast,” she said.



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