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KINDNESS PANDEMIC GROUP MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND GOING FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH The Kindness Pandemic (BIKP) Facebook group that started on our islands, is making a significant community contribution. The group started out as the ‘Kindness Warriors’ and comprised people mainly from the island community, but now as the Kindness Pandemic, the group now has members as far away as New Zealand and the United States of America. Clearly the group has potential to expand even further. The island girls who started it all are Natalie Lutter, Wendy Ford and Faye Benge. The group reports: “This has been a busy year for BIKP as 2022 went off with a bang, with an unexpected Australia Day Bay Islander of the Year award. “We were most humbled and honoured to receive, along with our fellow volunteers Coastal Scavengers and Island Champions, who do a stellar job within the community. This award was not just for admin but all Kindness Warriors. So please do give yourselves a pat on the back. “We heard the cry of Lismore. There are many ex-pat Northern Rivers residents who now call the SMBIs their home, so the Kindness Warriors sprang into action. Community made hearts, knitted/crocheted rugs along with donated clothing, bedding and other essentials were all sent south. Even the fur babies were remembered. “Throughout the year we have had our Buddy Bears and Care Packs sent to residents enduring tough times. Crochet rugs and warm gear was also sent near and far, with some lovely rugs donated to Queensland Kindness for their hospital appeal, and more going to help the homeless folk in Brisbane. “There have been many struggles throughout the year. We have also kept our ear to the ground for helping anyone looking for rental homes, even assisting to source short term emergency accommodation, including finding homes for pets. The fantastic, kind community members have stepped up. “We have heard the calls for help in getting whitegoods and other essentials, along with home maintenance to people in need within our community. Graham Holley Carriers, Builder Mike Tungate, SMBI Plumbing and a host of community members, too many to mention, all heeded the call for help. “For Christmas 2022, the BIKP elves (aka Wendy Ford and Amanda Grady) spearheaded the Christmas Stocking and Santa Sack initiative for both here on the SMBI’s and Lismore. “Natalie Lutter also instigated the Christmas Hamper drive for some needy SMBI residents, all put together from donations from residents within the SMBIs and local grocery outlets. “Our online presence has been kept going by our wonderful Kindness Warriors with such amazing contributions and participation. Often, it’s not just about material things but a kind and listening ear. “This has been most heart-warming to witness. The angst of keyboard warriors does not even present in this lovely group. Instead of keyboard warriors, we have Kindness Warriors who are worth their weight in gold. “This year, the BIKP will be working on two major initiatives. We will have a combined BIC and BIKP Monthly Birthday Bash and our new Community Pantry. Details on both will be on our Facebook page soon. “We would like to give a heartfelt thanks to all BIKP donors and supporters, and The Friendly Bay Islander; our Islands are truly a better place when we join together. “If you would like to join the BIKP team, search Bay Islands Kindness Pandemic . on Facebook. You are welcome aboard. Together we can make a difference.” Warm regards, Admin Team-Faye, Nat & Wendy.

• A load of Kindness headed for Lismore

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