16th February 2022
Mr GREG PIPER (Lake Macquarie)—I'd like to acknowledge the efforts that nine-year-old Sam Smith from Bonnells Bay has made to help dozens of local families in need. Sam has collected and recycled almost 6000 cans and bottles, netting him $538 through the Return and Earn scheme, but instead of adding the earnings to his own pocket money, he's donated it to Lake Macquarie charity, Southlakes Incorporated. Southlakes volunteers run food banks, provide emergency accommodation, clothing and haircuts, and provide funds to homeless people and those under severe financial strain. I cannot think of a more worthwhile cause to donate to. For the past three years, Sam has also helped the charity at Christmas time by handing out hampers at Cooranbong and Lake Munmorah. Last year Sam even ran his own food drive at Heritage College Lake Macquarie to help the charity gather food for its emergency hampers which were delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic. And it appears he's not about to slacken off, aiming to collect 10,000 cans and bottles this year to raise $1000. That's enough to provide 100 hampers to local families in need. I congratulate and acknowledge Sam on a magnificent effort.
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