The Casey Cardinia Libraries Forgiving Tree Campaign has delivered an impressive result for the community in the lead up to Christmas.
More than $15,000 worth of food and gifts were donated to local people in need. Nearly $14,000 library fines and fees were forgiven. Close to $18,000 worth of lost items were returned and surprisingly just over $8,000 worth of fines and fees were paid.
Throughout December, library members could make a donation to the Forgiving Tree in their local branch and have their outstanding fines or fees waived.
The goal was to encourage people to pay it forward, look after their neighbours and wipe the slate clean before the end of the year.
Forgiving Trees were established in Cranbourne, Doveton, Emerald, Endeavour Hills, Hampton Park, Narre Warren and Pakenham libraries as well as the Cardinia Mobile Library Service.
Mr Chris Buckingham, CEO Casey Cardinia Libraries said: ‘We knew that setting up the Forgiving Trees in our libraries was the right thing to do. The heartwarming response from our wonderfully diverse community was inspiring.’
Casey Cardinia Libraries worked with local charities and partners including the 4Cs in Pakenham, Cranbourne Information & Support Service, WAYSS, Barry Plant Emerald, Puffing Billy, Transit in Narre Warren, the Salvation Army in Doveton and Hampton Park Community House.
‘We are very grateful to all the people and partners who gave so much throughout December. Together we have made a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of local families at this special time of year.’ Said Mr Buckingham.