Families off to assist orphans
TWO Casuarina families will travel to Vietnam next month on a mission to help furnish an underprivileged orphanage for disabled children.
Belinda McManus, her daughter Lily along with family friend Paula Nash and her son, Ryan, will travel to the Phu My Orphanage in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam on December 1 with $15,000 they raised from a fundraising auction on Saturday.
Ms McManus said they will visit for 10 days to investigate the best way to help.
“Our main goal is to replace or modify their cots because the ones they used there aren’t suitable,” Ms McManus said.
“We want to help out any way we can.
“It’s a government run orphanage and they may take our help as interfering so we have to see what we can do.”
Ms McManus received a framed jersey signed by the Gold Coast Blaze when they appeared at Tweed City Shopping Centre on Saturday, as well as an autographed Joel Parkinson surf board, a framed and signed Australian Cricket jersey and a seven night holiday to Bali to auction off on Saturday night.
“The auction was very successful, the local community really got behind us and everyone wanted to help,” she said.
“We were getting calls just before it started from people we haven’t met who wanted to donate money and items. It was great.
“We’re not a charity, we are two families who just want to help out.”
Ms McManus travelled to the orphanage earlier this year with her husband to volunteer for 10 days.
“It was like a nightmare there. It was very different from any ordinary orphanage,” she said.
“Their lives are devoid of hope and their only pleasure seems to be mealtime.”