At St Martin’s Lutheran Church Gladstone, the proof is in…the felting. Secretary Jenny Jarman has started a drive to assist the flood relief efforts by using her artful talents in felting. Her “Felting for Flood Relief” has produced a specialist line of original felted characters, that she calls “Teddies in Wellies”.
Jenny, and Chairperson Evelyn Jarman, were moved by the plight of the residents of Wujal Wujal. All the residents have been relocated, mostly to Cooktown or Cairns and mostly staying with relatives. While the government has set in place Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, additional funding from Queensland Lutheran Giving is limited at this stage. The Mayor of Wujal Wujal says it could be three to six months before people can start to return.
Evelyn paints a vivid picture as she imagines the plight of the Wujal Wujal residents:
“Imagine you are a resident of Wujal Wujal, the waters are rising, the roads are impassable, and you and your family have struggled on to the roof of your house, because there is nowhere else to go. You huddle together, soaked, hungry, terrified. The weather is too wild for the Chinooks to come. As darkness deepens, only the mozzies have full bellies, and your fingers and toes grow cold. You wonder if you have enough strength to cling on to the roof as the wind gusts pull at your clothes and hair.
“A new day and you are all still alive, thank God, and the helicopters are coming. As you are finally lifted away from the roof of your drowned home, the scale of the destruction becomes greater the higher you go. The entire town is severely impacted by the floods. But you are alive and beginning to thaw out. Finally, there’s Cooktown and solid ground beneath your feet for the first time in two days. Stiff, sore, starving hungry, glad of offered food and a place to lie down…but what now?
“Auntie has not had her meds for two days; where can we get them? How long can we stay here? Local family find you and take you to their home; they are compassionate and have clothes to borrow and food that they bought in for Christmas is now feeding two families. All reminders of what is lost.
“The days pass, and the novelty of sharing bedrooms is wearing thin. The New Year passes, and you wonder how much of it you will spend like this. What about the kids ? If we can’t get back soon, the kids will need to be registered for school here and will they need schoolbooks and uniforms. Good job you get on as a family – you know of some for whom this close contact would be classified as purgatory; hot weather and overcrowding spawning arguments…”
Jenny is planning to build enough stock to hold a market stall. You can contact her at email@example.com if you would like to support her efforts, or perhaps you are a secret felting enthusiast and would like to get in on the fun!
To support Queensland Lutheran Giving directly, go to https://qld.lca.org.au/support/qld-disasters/ Credit card payment is the preferred donation method. We are also able to receive donations by EFT, but we need to ensure that we collect the necessary details from our donors. To donate by EFT, please contact our district office to be guided you through our EFT payment process: firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 07 3511 4000.