Julie opens heart and gardens to help quake victims
By PETER CATON
KEEN gardener Julie Hitchens is opening her heart - and her gardens - to help help those made homeless by the devastating Indian Ocean tsunamis.
Mrs Hitchens said yesterday she had often been asked by passers-by if they could have a closer look at the gardens surrounding her home off Kyogle Road, about a kilometre west of the new Byangum Bridge.
Moved by the plight of people suffering from the effects of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunamis, particularly that of thousands of children made homeless and separated from their parents, she has decided to open the gardens to the public for the first time as a fundraiser.
Mrs Hitchens said the gardens at 691 Kyogle Road would open from 9am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday January 8 and 9 with the funds going to appeals by UNICEF and the Red Cross.
Mrs Hitchens said Uki Red Cross Volunteers had offered to serve morning and afternoon tea and refreshments on the two days with a flat $5 fee charged for entry to the gardens going to the appeals.?
Mrs Hitchens, who has lived in a stunning modern Queenslander-style home on the property which overlooks the Tweed River for four years, said it was the first time she had opened the gardens to the public.
"A lot of people stop and want to have a look, but I've never let them in before," she said.
"But I wanted to do something for the people affected by the tsunami, especially the children."