Pay It Forward helped during a tough time in more ways than one

GRATEFUL: Anna McLennan says Pay it Forward helped her start over and furnish her home and now hopes the charity will get up and running again so it can continue to help others. Photo: ANDREW MURRAY 1112amgpay3
GRATEFUL: Anna McLennan says Pay it Forward helped her start over and furnish her home and now hopes the charity will get up and running again so it can continue to help others. Photo: ANDREW MURRAY 1112amgpay3

A woman who received assistance from the Pay It Forward charity says she is grateful for help she received from the service during a tough period in her life.

The thanks come after Pay It Forward founder Karlie Irwin announced the doors were closing at the charity’s Glenroi Avenue site earlier this month, although crisis accommodation and other services such as lawn mowing would continue.  

Anna McLennan said she was told Pay It Forward was closing during her last visit to the Glenroi Avenue site, when instead of asking for help she wanted to see what she could do to give back to the service. 

“I felt quite sad to be quite honest, it was a bit of a shock because I thought they were doing all right,” she said.

“The last time [I went there], I went to see if I could volunteer but [I was] told they were closing.

“I’d love to see them be able to open their doors again … I think it’s quite sad that the community won’t have that service to be able to benefit [from] now.

“We’ve got [other charities] but sometimes the furniture there is even out of budget for some of the low income earners.”

Ms McLennan said she wanted to volunteer after being helped by the service last year when she moved into a new residence and most of her furniture came from Pay It Forward.

“I would just like to thank Karlie Irwin and the team at Pay It Forward community shed for everything they have done for me over the last 12-18 months,” she said. 

“I’ve turned up in tears one or two times and they asked me what was wrong and sat down with me, they are willing to listen as well.

“I would also like to thank them for [the] difference they have made in young peoples’ lives within the community by employing them or letting them volunteer instead of roaming the streets.

“I know somebody who’s worked for them, as a young person it’s changed things for him because it gives him something to look forward to.”

Miss McLennan said at one time she needed help furnishing her house after a relationship break-up, but she’s in a better place now.

“They have furnished my house not once, but twice and never once judged me and always greeted me with a smile and asked me how I was even though they didn’t really know me,” she said. 

“I’d probably still have no furniture [without the charity], it definitely relieved a lot off the stress involved in trying to set up a house.”

Miss McLennan also spoke out against three break and enters that took place at the centre in a 10-month period.

“I can’t believe it, I was trying to think who would do something like that … I know quite a few of us were quite angry about it here in the Glenroi area,” she said.