• Tony Bosworth

HHH gets a hand itself with funds allowing founder to continue to run the region’s major charity

Over the last decade Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands has grown from a small mother and daughter charity into a volunteer powerhouse serving thousands of meals a week and helping those who need it most.

Linda and daughter Cassidy. The HHH story began when Cassidy was 8 and saw a man looking for food in a dumpster and asked her mother why he had to do that

But the last decade has also seen Linda Strickland, the charity’s guiding light and fearless campaigner for the needy, work through her small inheritance and savings to help keep herself afloat.

Anyone who knows Linda knows she’s a dynamo – always working with her loyal band of hard working volunteers, helping others, helping literally thousands of the needy day in day out.

She works a minimum 60 hour week and she just never stops, but Linda had to start looking for a full-time job to pay her own bills and look after her family and was all set to have to walk away from HHH.

“I got a job offer with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS),” Linda told the Post, “and I was about to sign the contract. I had used all my savings and I needed to go back to work to earn a living.”

But the community rallied and on Saturday Linda was asked to go to Windsor RSL for a big surprise.

Hard work - but the rewards are immense, and now Linda can support herself and her family too, thanks to Windsor RSL

The club – which also pays the rent for HHH’s warehouse headquarters just up the road – has stumped up a year’s salary for Linda so she can continue to do the work she loves.

“It’s just amazing,” Linda said. “I’ve been doing this job for 10 years come September, and the time has flown by but I had to try and get a job to pay the bills, and now this grant means I can continue at HHH. I’m relieved, and my volunteers are ecstatic. I am so grateful to Windsor RSL. It all happened really quickly, and what a great surprise.”

HHH has helped literally thousands of people, and not just in the Hawkesbury. During the Covid pandemic the charity has even been helping overseas students stuck here with little money and dwindling resources. No-one is ever turned away.

And just this last week Linda led the HHH crew to the flood devastated Wilberforce Caravan Park where the team handed out food and water and helped people who no longer have a place to call home, to gather what remained of their belongings and help them get much-needed support.

“The Windsor RSL grant allows me and the team to keep operating. There are a lot of people out there who need help and it’s good to know we’re able to carry on and bring that help to them,” Linda said.

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