According to statistics, more families in Parkes utilise the vital services of the Ronald McDonald House in Orange than any of the other 103 towns whose residents access the facility.
There are 45 families from Parkes who have visited the House 68 times across a total of 323 nights.
And those numbers don’t include those from across the Parkes Shire, with four families from Trundle, three families in Tullamore, two families in Peak Hill and one family each from Alectown, Gunningbland and Mandagery also using the service.
Forbes has the second highest figure in the Ronald McDonald House Orange statistics with 37 families who have visited the House 43 times across 143 nights.
And 31 families from Condobolin and 27 from Cowra have accessed the service.
These figures are too high for anyone’s liking.
But the next best thing Parkes volunteers feel they can do to support those during difficult times is to donate whatever they can.
For 11 years the Parkes College for Seniors has been donating handmade items to the Ronald McDonald House Orange.
And this year Currajong Disability Services (CDS) has hopped on board, donating quilts and bathroom bags.
The two organisations gathered at Parkes McDonald’s on Tuesday to hand over several bags of items to Ronald McDonald House Orange representative Rebecca Walsh.
CDS donated 12 quilts and 32 bathroom bags, while the College for Seniors donated multiple face cloths, crocheted blankets, bibs, baby clothes and scarfs.
“It’s absolutely heartwarming,” Rebecca said.
“All of it goes to supporting our families.
“We give gifts to all the children and their siblings, and the face washes go into the toiletry bags we give to the families when they come in.
“All of this is invaluable.”
CDS hold one sewing session a week for their clients, who have the opportunity to take part if they wish to.
The organisation also donates quilts to the Parkes Hospital with the help of Parkes CanAssist volunteers.
Support worker Deitre Jackson said 90 per cent of their material is donated from the community and Spotlight in Forbes.
“Which is really appreciated,” she said.
“It’s all a combined effort, to help spread some Christmas cheer to everyone, and hope they (the items) will be used.”
Parkes College for Seniors president Denise White said every little bit helps.
“We do this four times a year, and this year Currajong Disability Services got in on the act, which is fabulous,” she said.
The group holds a crocheting day every Friday where between 30-40 ladies take part.
On Tuesday they also donated $2295 to Ronald McDonald House Orange from donations and a fundraiser they held at the Masonic Lodge in September.
“I just want to say a very big thank you to all of the Parkes community and surrounding towns for their support of Ronald McDonald House,” Rebecca said.
“Without such support we wouldn’t be able to keep our doors open.”