A formerly homeless woman is giving back to the less fortunate, organising a donation drive for one of Launceston's rough sleepers.
Eddy Kjaersgaard, 29, of Summerhill, was just a teenager when she went to sleep on the streets of Brisbane in 2006 to get away from an acrimonious relationship with her mother.
"I decided that I'd prefer to live in a cardboard box than with [my mother]," she said.
She was homeless for 10 months, having to rely on the generosity of strangers to get by.
Later, Ms Kjaersgaard moved to Launceston after being abducted by her partner and taken to New South Wales, where she said the pair were "run out of there by a bikie gang".
Eventually, she managed to escape the clutches of her abductor, and came to Tasmania where her grandparents live.
Recently, a friend of Ms Kjaersgaard posted on Facebook after noticing a man sleeping outside the old Birchalls store on Brisbane Street.
"I organised to get donations and meet up with him just before the food van [opened] at the top of the mall on Sunday night," Ms Kjaersgaard said.
"I've gone from sleeping up a tree with a possum to owning my own house. [Now] I can finally give something back.
"I'm grateful that my time [on the streets] was ... in warm weather - down here [homeless people] have got to deal with the rain and the cold."
Armed with donated items - including bananas, chocolate, lollies, blankets, jackets, a toothbrush and toothpaste - from about six good samaritans, Ms Kjaersgaard took them to the man, known as Chris.
"He thought he was being pranked and was a bit sceptical," Ms Kjaersgaard said. " But after he got a few bags of donations, he was very, very thankful and very excited."
"He ... kept shaking my hand, saying, 'Thank you'."
Ms Kjaersgaard's seven-year-old son donated writing materials and baby wipes to Chris.
Ms Kjaersgaard said she understood Chris had since found accommodation due to awareness of his circumstances being raised via social media.
She said it was the kind gestures from strangers that got her through her time sleeping rough.
"Two dollars from one hundred people instead of two hundred from one person [makes] a huge difference," she said.
I've gone from sleeping up a tree with a possum to owning my own house. [Now] I can finally give something back.Eddy Kjaersgaard
City Mission chief executive Stephen Brown said if people in the community felt compelled to help the homeless in some way he thought that was a "good thing".
"[Homeless people] can't always access some services if they're at capacity," Mr Brown said.
But he noted that one had to be careful in approaching someone they didn't know, even if they had good intentions.
"People just need to be cautiously helpful," Mr Brown said. "You've just got to be aware of your safety."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Mr Brown said if a homeless person chose not to accept the charity of a stranger, then that decision had to be respected.
The Examiner's Winter Relief Appeal is celebrating 61 years.
The Winter Relief Appeal supports four Northern Tasmanian charities - St Vincent de Paul, the Benevolent Society, the Salvation Army and City Mission.
Since we launched Winter Relief this year we have received $3681.15 and we've set our sights on a $75,000 target.
HOW TO DONATE:
If you'd like to donate to The Examiner's Winter Relief Appeal, you can by:
Donating in person at The Examiner's office in Cimitiere Street or at participating businesses.
Electronic funds transfer BSB 035-822, Account 011443537
BPAY biller number 49429, reference 0100 0406190 01443537 0.