FLOOD HERO: Wendy Hughes has opened her heart and is collecting donations for people doing it tough after the Townsville floods.
FLOOD HERO: Wendy Hughes has opened her heart and is collecting donations for people doing it tough after the Townsville floods. Geordi Offord

Trolls attack Bundy flood angel

SHE went through the devastation of the 2013 tornadoes, now Wendy Hughes wants to help those in Townsville dealing with floods.

Kind hearts from around Bundaberg have donated clothes, toys, shoes, bedding and school supplies to help people in need.

However, Ms Hughes' act of kindness has been met with criticism from online trolls, many of whom claim she is keeping the donations for herself.

"People have said nasty things and it does hurt," she said. "I have to be strong to get through those, but I know I am doing the right thing.

"I'm overwhelmed by the beautiful supportive people of Bundaberg who see I am a bit down and they give me a hug and say 'come on Wendy, you can do it'."

The Bargara resident said she is making sure each donated item is packed with care.

"I've done 19 loads of washing so far and I still have to sterilise the toys and make sure they're clean," she said.

"I've been talking to a lady called Sharon from North Townsville Community Hub because I want to make sure these go straight out to people and are not being held up up in storage."

Ms Hughes said she had been overwhelmed by the support from people in the community.

"It just makes my heart so happy so see people wanting to help," she said.

"I had a pregnant lady come in and donate clothes and nappies and she said 'I've still got a few months left, I'll restock'.

Ms Hughes said her past struggles were the push which made her want to help.

"I was with the bowls club when it was damaged by a tornado so I know what these people are going through," she said. "I saw what people went through with the floods here and how disastrous it was, it broke my heart.

"I know what I'm doing will make someone up there happy."

Battling mental health issues herself, Ms Hughes said helping others is also helping her battle her own demons.

"Because of my health I don't really go out much and stay to myself," she said.

"But doing this is making me go out and making me talk to people and helping me get back to my old self."

She said she can't transport the donations herself, but is hoping to get a hand from transport company Toll.

"I've spoken to someone there and he is going to talk to his boss and see what he can do to help," she said. "I'll hopefully know very soon if they are able to transport everything for me."

Wendy will continue to take donations and said a few items were in strong demand.

"Bedding, school supplies, vinegar and bleach are what they need the most," she said.

As for the people who have been negative, Ms Hughes said she wanted them to see what she is doing.

"I cannot wait to share a picture of everything loaded on the truck," she said.

To make a donation or lend a hand give Wendy a call on 0439 508 720.



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