Clothes for tsunami victims remain stranded
By Adam Hicks
Truckloads of clothes gathered by Rebecca Monti for tsunami victims are stuck in Goonellabah.
The 16-year-old's charity drive has stalled after shipping arrangements fell through two weeks ago.
With the help of 15 volunteers and generous donations from Northern Rivers residents, the Bagotville teenager collected and sorted 99 boxes of clothes, linen and toys for survivors in Sri Lanka.
But now she has no way to get them there and Ms Monti is depending on the help of locals to deliver the goods.
Ms Monti said her shipping contact in Sydney phoned as she was finishing the sorting process to say the shipping containers promised would not be delivered.
"I'm trying to find someone else to take them but I've almost exhausted all leads," she said.
"I'm a bit disappointed. A lot of effort went into this but now I can't get people to take it.
"Everyone will donate stuff, but I can't get it over to those who need it."
The boxes fill two rooms at the Goonellabah Scout Hall.
Ms Monti said she established a shipping contact before she asked for donations.
"I called AusAID and they said they couldn't help but knew someone who could and gave me the number of a woman," she said.
"She told me she had five shipping containers lined up but for some reason four of them fell through.
"I've been phoning around trying to find someone else, but there is no one else."
Ms Monti has asked that any- one who can donate money for shipping costs to contact her on 0416 657 803.
If she doesn't get assistance soon, the clothes, and a lot of hard work may be wasted.
"I don't know what will happen with it. It would be a shame to waste clothes that people need," she said.