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Local residents are being called on to help find a home for an amazing new community pantry initiative that will provide essentials for those in need.

Project Kindness, a Sydney charity known for its “Kindness Cupboards,” is seeking a location to house their first pantry on the north shore.

These cupboards are filled with quality tinned vegetables, pasta, soup, baby food, breakfast cereal, long life milk, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and many other essential items.

They operate on a simple philosophy: “Take what you need, leave what you can.” This fosters a spirit of community and shared responsibility, ensuring those in need have access to basic necessities.

With Kindness Cupboards already in many areas of Sydney including Alexandria, Glebe, Randwick, Rosebery, and Maroubra, the idea for a Chatswood cupboard came from Yolanda Hodgson, a local resident who volunteers with Project Kindness.

“I have been involved in a volunteer capacity and have maintained contact with Project Kindness while I was busy with life and kids,” says Yolanda. “I have just recently gained some time back where I felt like I could contribute again, so I offered to set up a kindness cupboard in Chatswood.”

Project Kindness Founder, Clem Hartson.

“I think if you show kindness and empathy towards others you’re making the world a better place even if on the most minute scale, it all counts,” says Yolanda.

Clementine Hartson (Clem), founder of Project Kindness, embraced the idea. “Yolanda is a local, and I am not too far away either, so I’m very excited about this opportunity.”

“I feel the community is ‘one of a kind’ in the Chatswood area,” Clem said.

Project Kindness began in 2017, when Clem was studying mental health, she was working with people living in boarding houses.

“I came up with a campaign to furnish the houses with art and photos, donated by members of the public. We did this over social media, and we had an amazing, generous response. We were able to use the donations to brighten many rooms.

Project Kindness also delivers hampers and supplies to families and individuals in need.

“The residents said how much this changed their day-to-day life. So, this led to extending the campaign to similar settings across Sydney.”

Clem’s own experience with mental health struggles also fuelled a desire to give back to the community.

“Another motivator for me is my own experience with anxiety and depression in high school,” says Clem. “The support I received at that time was so generous, and so kind, that I resolved to repay the gratitude I felt in some way, in my future.”

Clementine’s pride in Project Kindness lies in its ability to connect people. “I have been lucky to create meaningful connections with so many vulnerable people,” she said.

Project Kindness goes beyond just providing necessities; it fosters a sense of community and belonging.

Project Kindness is now seeking the community’s help in finding a suitable location. An ideal spot would be central and easily accessible, allowing for discreet pickup of essential items. While Willoughby Mayor, Tanya Taylor has been in contact, a suitable location has yet to be identified.

How you can help

The support of locals is what keeps the community Kindness Cupboards ticking says Clem.

“We encourage those who can support the Kindness Cupboards to drop off basic essentials or to place them straight into the cupboards.” So keep an eye out for our updates on a successful Kindness Cupboard being established nearby.

Supporters can also donate via the website or QR code located on the cupboard. These donations will be utilised to purchase items for the pantry.

And if you have a location in mind, or can support them in another way, get in touch with the Project Kindness team here.

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