Tweed Heads charity bins destroyed by fire
VOLUNTEERS at St Vincent De Paul in Tweed Heads were rattled after their donation bins were destroyed by fire overnight.
They arrived this morning to find the bins and the many donations they contained destroyed.
About 9.50pm Monday, firefighters were called to the Beryl St shop where the bins were well alight.
Just before 1.40am this morning, they were called back to the scene, where the bins had been reignited.
The charity shop's president and manager, Jan Parker, said it's not the first time the Vinnies had been the target of vandalism.
She said about twelve months ago, a mattress was leaned against the entrance and set alight, destroying the windows.
"I feel sick...and disappointed that someone would do that to us when we work hard as volunteers," Ms Parker said.
"We strive so hard to have everything beautiful in out shop to raise money for the underprivileged."
Ms Parker said she had no idea who was behind the attack.
Vinnies' Lismore district executive officer Michael Timbrell said the destruction of the bins was "extremely distressing" and costly.
"Not only does it take a heavy emotional toll on our volunteers, the clean up and the provision of replacement bins as well as the loss of generous donations from the local community will cost Vinnies thousands of dollars - money that would be better spent on helping people who are experiencing severe disadvantage," Mr Timbrell said.
"We are extremely lucky to have such a dedicated and hard-working team who runs our Vinnies shop in Tweed Heads but it becomes increasingly difficult for volunteers to continue their great work when they face destruction of property as well as the ongoing issue of rubbish dumping."
"Good quality donations really do make a difference to those facing tough times and are always appreciated by Vinnies," he said.
Tweed Heads Fire and Rescue station officer Chris Perrin said firefighters had to remove the bins' doors when the fire was re-lit in order to properly access the smouldering clothes, toys and other donations.
Police attended the scene today.