'Earth angel' helps struggling families get back to school
A MUM of six cried when she found out three of her children's uniforms and school books were paid for by a generous Warwick group helping those doing it tough.
Danii Howard is struggling to make it through each week due to financial stress and medical issues.
"My partner is terminally ill and I'm clinically ill, we live day by day," she said.
It was a stressful time of year for her family when it came time to get the children back to school for another new year.
She wasn't aware at the time that she would be relieved of the stress by Catherine Cazaly and the Warwick Community Van group who stepped in to help pay for uniforms and back to school supplies.
"I'd never heard of the Community Van before," Miss Howard said.
"My friend who is suffering from the drought received help from Catherine for her children."
"She knew about our situation and how hard it has been for us and passed on our details."
Compelled to help, Mrs Cazaly contacted the family and offered to help get the children sorted for school using resources from the Community Van.
"We cried," Miss Howard said.
"This isn't the lifestyle we chose, we didn't choose to be sick.
"Catherine's an earth angel, for someone to go and help people like that is huge.
"It gives people a lot of hope."
Catherine Cazaly is the generous woman behind the Warwick Community Van group that has been making an immense impact on the Southern Downs community recently for their kindness and dedication to helping those in need.
The team has been fundraising to purchase and set up a food trailer to use as a mobile soup kitchen, but they have also been helping families get back to school and giving farmers care hampers.
They have received donations and backing from local businesses, as well as holding a massive garage sale, to help families that are doing it tough across the region.
"The Community Van received an anonymous and heartfelt donation of 50 lunch boxes," Mrs Cazaly said.
"I was inspired and thought about creating the back to school packs for our struggling farmers and their children."
Mrs Cazaly said creating back to school packs was just the start, as the group has plans to spread the support throughout the region.
"We are still only just forming as a group, we haven't got the resources yet to do everything we want to do, but I know that we will be able to help more and more people soon," Mrs Cazaly said.
"If the community comes together, we can do anything."
Aside from local business support and fundraising, Mrs Cazaly has also received a grant from the Condamine Headwaters Landcare Group which is specifically used to help those affected by drought.
"I can only imagine for some people that amongst all of the stress and worry about making everything work financially, it can be a moment of relief to find out school supplies have been taken care of," Mrs Cazaly said.
"From what people have said to me, they have just been overwhelmed."
If you're directly affected by drought or a business that relies on farming and you need assistance, please contact Catherine 0409 894 908.
To make a donation to the group or lend a helping hand, visit the Warwick Community Van Facebook page.