Public donates pet parrots to Lismore care group

WHEN thieves stole 30 parrots from the Interchange Respite Care group's aviary in Lismore Heights last month, house co-ordinator Di Hughes was devastated, but the community has made sure the children get their pets back.

Ms Hughes said after the parrots were stolen, she was overwhelmed with calls from community members wanting to replace the birds.

“The community response restored my faith in the spirit of giving. We now have more than 30 new parrots back in the aviary.”

Ms Hughes said the princess parrots and cockatiels were originally bought as pets for the children and to teach them how to be responsible with animals.

“It's hard to explain how someone would steal from children. I am just thankful to the people who have donated new parrots,” she said.

Interchange NSW is the peak body for organisations involved in providing respite care and social support services to families who have a member with a disability.

Interchange Respite Care has also recently received more than $2000 from community groups to fund a one-storey lift with a covered veranda for the Lismore house.

“The lift, which is now fully operating, enables wheelchair-bound children to go upstairs so we can all sit around the table together for meals,” Ms Hughes said.

Ms Hughes said it was a big turnaround going from the theft three weeks ago to the recent community donations and support.

“All the people who work here are trained volunteers and the centre relies on donations and fundraising,” she said.

Among the community groups that donated money for the lift was the Rotaract Club of Lismore. They will be holding a fancy dress dinner at the Lismore Workers Club on August 23 to raise funds for a wheelchair-accessible bathroom for the house.

“It will be a great night for everyone, it's all about looking on the bright side of life,” Ms Hughes said.

For more information fundraiser, contact Di Hughes on 6625 2546.

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