Offers to volunteer, donate continue for Atkinsons
UPDATE: Support is continuing to flow for the Atkinson family, who welcomed a baby boy within 12 hours of losing their toddler son Lochlain.
Donations to help pay for Lochlain's funeral costs and keeping the Atkinsons Mexican takeaway business running have started to come in to Lifeline Darling Downs as people respond to the couple's situation.
The appeal first went out in The Chronicle on Saturday, after 22-month-old Lochlain was tragically killed when he was struck by a garbage truck outside the couple's home at Kleinton, near Highfields.
Lifeline Darling Downs CEO Derek Tuffield said local people had stepped up in a range of ways.
"I've had an 80-year-old gentleman contact me...offering to do volunteer work to keep the business going," he said.
"Eighty years old.
"They are needing help with the costs - the funeral expenses particularly.
"(Finding the money) can be another sort of grief.
"I'm sure people will rally, people are talking about it. Let's hope we can help."
To donate, transfer money to account name: Lifeline Darling Downs, BSB 034 221 and account number 581 625 with the name Atkinson as a reference.
SUNDAY: THE Toowoomba community has rallied around Paul and Olivia Atkinson, who lost their toddler son Lochlain in a tragic accident last week.
They welcomed a new son, Isaac, less than 12 hours after Lochlain was killed when he was hit by a garbage truck outside their home.
Donations, as well as offers to run fundraising activities, have poured in at the weekend, after the family's story was featured in Saturday's The Chronicle.
Mrs Atkinson's uncle, Denver Vidler, said the couple had been "overwhelmed" by the two life-changing events, but were touched by the support.
"The responses coming in through The Chronicle Facebook page…even though Paul and Olivia are really struggling, they're touched that people actually care and are sympathetic towards their situation," he said.
"There are a lot of parents out there who have experienced similar tragedies and really connect with it all.
"This is where Toowoomba's always had that special community feel - it's certainly a special community up that way, that's for sure."
However, Mr Vidler said, at this stage the family did not think they could return to live at their Charmaine Ct home in Kleinton, where the accident occurred.
"They've pretty well concluded they can't face coming back to the house at the moment at all," he said.
"Paul was at work and rushed home and was faced with it all."
The couple owns and runs The Original California Burrito Company in Grand Central Shopping Centre with Mrs Atkinson's parents, and had to shut down the shop for several days.
Mr Vidler said it might close for several more days, because it was too hard to staff without the family.
Donations for the couple to pay for Lochlain's funeral costs and to keep their business running are being accepted by Lifeline Darling Downs and South West.
Lifeline Darling Downs and South West CEO Derek Tuffield encouraged people to donate what they could to the appeal.
How to help
Lifeline Darling Downs will accept donations on behalf of the family to cover funeral costs.
Cash and cheque donations can be made at 33 Russell St in business hours, and cheques can be mailed to PO Box 2119, Toowoomba 4350.
To donate by direct deposit, transfer money to account name: Lifeline Darling Downs, BSB 034 221 and account number 581 625 with the name Atkinson as a reference.