Heartless thief takes fire family donations

AN opportunistic thief won’t take the shine off the generosity of the Warrnambool community, according to Tammy McGuigan. 

Mrs McGuigan, who is co-ordinating an appeal to help the Walker family who lost everything when a fire destroyed their Wangoom Road home last week, said items that had been donated were stolen from outside her Timor Street office on Saturday morning. 

She said a generous couple had arranged to drop off donations yesterday morning. However, when she was running late, the couple left the items in the doorway. 

A short time later the couple drove past and noticed Mrs McGuigan was back in the office. 

“They came in and asked if I had the boxes and I said ‘what boxes?’,” she said. 

“They were devastated. We did a quick search around to see if someone had moved them to a safe place but we couldn’t find them. 

“I was so angry and upset. I would have missed them (the couple) by just a few minutes.” 

Mrs McGuigan said a blue box with a floral top and pink paper bag with rope handles where dropped at the door. They contained donated pictures frames, teddy bear ornaments, a greeting card, toys, soaps, toiletries and children’s stationery. 

“We hope someone has taken them by mistake and we just really hope that whoever did take them can return them to us,” she said. 

“This lovely couple went out of their way to buy these items to donate and then this happens. It’s very disappointing for them and for me.” 

But Mrs McGuigan said the incident wouldn’t take the shine off the generosity shown by the Warrnambool community in response to the family’s plight.

She said she had been overwhelmed by the amount of people who have donated items to the appeal. 

“This family lost everything they own except the clothes they were wearing,” she said. 

“People have been absolutely amazing. Our phones were running hot on Saturday with people calling wanting to help. 

“I’m so proud to call Warrnambool home. The outpouring of generosity is just mind-blowing.

“Most of the donations have had greeting cards attached. The family just can’t believe this is all being done for them. It’s making a huge difference.” 

Mrs McGuigan said she was now compiling a list of larger items that had been donated. 

She said smaller items like children’s toys and toiletries could be dropped at Advantage Property Management in Timor Street, while those with larger items should call 5561 6271 to arrange transport.

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