Community and kindness to combine for Pay it Forward day at MarketPlace Raymond Terrace on April 28

WHAT GOES AROUND: MarketPlace Raymond Terrace centre manager Colleen Mulholland-Ruiz buying a lotto ticket from newsagent Michelle Sweeney for a customer as part of the Pay It Forward campaign.
WHAT GOES AROUND: MarketPlace Raymond Terrace centre manager Colleen Mulholland-Ruiz buying a lotto ticket from newsagent Michelle Sweeney for a customer as part of the Pay It Forward campaign.

Be it floods, fire, a pandemic or any other disaster - the Port Stephens community rallies together when it is called upon.

This has been seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly when residents were called on to support the Port's small business community by shopping local, to stay kind and be supportive of one another.

MarketPlace Raymond Terrace aims to recapture this sense of community spirit through a Pay It Forward campaign next week.

Residents are being asked to new or as new donate clothing, household items, sanitary and bathroom products, towels, blankets, small appliances - anything that could help struggling members of the community - to the Raymond Terrace shopping centre on Wednesday, April 28.

The items will then be donated to Lions, Rotary and Friends with Dignity.

On April 28, MarketPlace staff will be walking around the centre doing their part to pay it forward - by offering vouchers to shoppers at random to pay for their items.

"This is a day to highlight community, to bring back a real sense of kindness, to bring some cheer to everyone," MarketPlace Raymond Terrace centre manager Colleen Mulholland-Ruiz said.

"On the Wednesday there will be an area in centre court set up where people can play their part in paying forward and donate items.

Colleen Mulholland-Ruiz with towels and a toaster, items that can be donated on Pay it Forward day (April 28), and vouchers centre staff will be handing out on the day.

Colleen Mulholland-Ruiz with towels and a toaster, items that can be donated on Pay it Forward day (April 28), and vouchers centre staff will be handing out on the day.

"We'll be floating around the centre, watching people shopping, gifting them back with vouchers."

MarketPlace is also donating two fridges, which will go to Rotary's furniture bank, and Friends With Dignity, which using donations furnishes houses for women escaping domestic and family violence.

Ms Mulholland-Ruiz said said she hoped the day sparked further pay it forward acts of kindness in the community.

"Pay it forward day doesn't have to be Wednesday. It can be any day. If you're standing behind someone at a counter and see they're struggling to find that money, pay it forward and help them if you can," she said.

Donations can be dropped off outside Big W all day on April 28.

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