Lost airport items benefit locals in need

Posted on Friday, September 21, 2018

With around 500 items handed in as lost property at the Gold Coast Airport each month, many remain unclaimed and are given a new lease on life.

For eight years, Gold Coast Airport has partnered with Tweed Heads based charity You Have A Friend, with unclaimed items donated to help homeless people, single parents and children on the southern Gold Coast and northern New South Wales.

Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said donating unclaimed items meant they ended up with people in need, rather than landfill.

“Many items are quickly reunited with their owners and all are kept for at least a month, but other commonly found items such as strollers and clothing are never claimed,” she said.

“By donating these to You Have A Friend they go directly to those in need and also help fund the charity’s vital programs in the area."

“We also donate unclaimed eye glasses to OPSM in Tweed Heads which catalogues the prescriptions for the Lions Club who distribute them to individuals who can’t afford new glasses.”

You Have A Friend founder, John Lee, said strollers were always welcome and went directly to help local parents and children, while other goods were sold through the charity’s Op-Shop in Tweed Heads.

“Proceeds from the Op Shop help fund our outreach programs which currently provide more than 300 meals for the homeless and marginalised each week. We also support 70 single mothers and children,” he said.

“We provide a breakfast service for local school children to make sure no child misses out on a good start to the day."

“You have A Friend does not receive government grants and is operated by 80 volunteers so the long-term support of Gold Coast Airport has been a great assistance to the local area."

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