As we approach winter, we all feel the cooler weather, but no-one feels it more than those without a home in our community.

Rather than seeing them suffer in the cold, one young Toowoomba resident will help again those who are less fortunate.

Ashlee Geoghegan today launched Free on a Tree Toowoomba, an initiative which allows residents to leave jackets on the trees in Gallery Park (beside the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery), which are then given to those in need.

“During my time of isolation I was assured of a warm bed, loving family and food on the table – this is not the case for many people in our community, nor our global community,” Ashlee said.

“In this time of pandemic, both globally and locally, I am challenged by the importance of continuing to look out for others. If you can make a difference is one person’s life, then it’s worth it.

“Free on a Tree provides an opportunity for everyone to give in a practical way to people who are often forgotten and genuinely in need of support.

“Winter is a time when I am reminded to always be thankful for the warmth of my home. It is also a time when I hope, that as a community, through Free on a Tree, that we can make a difference for people here in the community of Toowoomba.”

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) Environment and Community Committee portfolio lead Tim McMahon was full of praise for the work Ashlee has undertaken, with Free on a Tree Toowoomba now in its second year.

“Last year Ashlee brought this idea to Council and the response was incredible,” he said.

“In total more than 300 jackets were given to people in our community who needed some extra warmth during the cooler months.

“This year they’re hoping to distribute more than 500 so let’s encourage everyone to help out so we can reach this target.

“This is yet another example of the compassionate community we have here in the Toowoomba Region and I would like to thank Ashlee and her family for leading the charge.”

Free on a Tree Toowoomba will again be providing a drop-off point for donations at the 2nd Shot Café.

Anyone who is able to provide a drop-off point at their business or can help out in other ways is encouraged to visit the Free on a Tree Toowoomba Facebook page.