Society 389 donates car to deserving Bargo family

One Bargo family now know that when a group of generous tradies come together there is no stopping them.

Society 389 is a registered charity that was founded by a group of Macarthur tradies in the hope of raising a “few dollars” for disabled, disadvantaged and sick families in the region.

Ten years later and the tradies who have put their hands in their pockets have raised about $500,000.

Bargo’s Denise Graham and her son Laine are the latest recipients of the group’s generosity.

Laine, who is sixteen years old, is severely physically and mentally disabled and is confined to a wheelchair.

“Laine can’t walk or communicate but he can interact and smile and he loves people,” Mrs Graham said.

“I need to physically put Laine in the car. He is 45 kilograms and my husband and I are getting older.”

Mrs Graham looked into getting her car modified but it was too expensive. She then hoped to save enough money to buy a second-hand modified car.

She contacted the charity in the hope they could help her make up the shortfall.

“Two society members came to have a chat,” Mrs Graham said. “I had all the paperwork to show I had been trying to save for a car.

“I thought if I could sell our other car, save more and with a little help from the charity then I could afford the car.

“They said they couldn’t help me with the second-hand car. But instead they wanted to give me a brand new car.

“There are no words to describe how grateful I am.

“We are just Aussie battlers. All our kids have good jobs, I work one day a week when I’m not looking after Laine and how the society came on board is amazing.

“You think you are on your own and it is tough, but then people come forward and help and it is overwhelming.

“Laine was being penalised because I couldn’t get him into the car. But now we can go to the park, to the beach and to the shops. It will improve his quality of life.”

Mrs Graham was also very grateful to Caring for Wollondilly who hosted a Christmas in July event.

“All up the charity raised $20,000 which went towards the car,” she said.

“They were private donations from local families who wanted to support a local kids. We are very grateful.”

One of the Society 389 founders and owner of Austec Irrigation, Michael Aldridge said the society hosted four events where business people, tradesmen and tradeswomen donate money which is then used to purchase items for those in need.

He said $45,000 was pledged before the September golf day and “more than enough” was raised at the fundraiser for Laine.

“The specific car was built in Japan,” Mr Aldridge said. “The car lowers down and a ramp folds out and the wheelchair is rolled into the car.

“Not one cent goes to administration. It all goes to the family.”