FANCY PANTS: Orphanage children receive their underwear.
FANCY PANTS: Orphanage children receive their underwear. Kate Reilly

Success of fundraising mission is an undie-statement

WHEN Kate Reilly got the photos back from the Sunrise Children's Village Orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, she couldn't have been any prouder.

"It was definitely a great moment to see all the kids with their undies," Mrs Reilly said.

Mrs Reilly has been spearheading an effort to ship new underwear to underprivileged children in Cambodia, items Australians take for granted but a scarce commodity for the orphans.

"Nobody really thinks about underpants, but they're absolutely essential," Mrs Reilly said.

She started collecting underpants from Gladstonians back in November last year, and after having an initial goal of 500 pairs, ended up with 2438 on their way to Cambodia.

"The generosity from Gladstone has been absolutely wonderful… I was absolutely gob-smacked," Mrs Reilly said.

In fact, the generosity of Gladstonites is giving Cambodian kids an opportunity they've never had before.

"We've got so many pairs over there that they're going to be distributed through the three orphanages, and then what's leftover will be given to the kids to give to other children from surrounding villages," Mrs Reilly said.

"For them to actually have that feeling of giving, which they've never had before, is just a wonderful idea."

She said while she had future plans for the Sunshine Orphanages, she would tweak her goal slightly.

"Toothbrushes," Mrs Reilly explained.

"It's one of those essential things, and, more importantly, it's very light so it's easy to send over."

The Sunrise Children's Villages are three orphanages located in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

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