Random acts of kindness go a long way.
There’s no shortage of reasons to be stressed and afraid nowadays, but there are spots of hope worth savouring, too.
This year’s lockdowns are difficult, but they’re bringing out the best in Geelong, the Bellarine and the Surf Coast’s local community, with many businesses and individuals offering up goods, services or random acts of kindness to brighten someone’s day.
Here are some locals gifting us hope in these frustrating and anxious times.
Ice Cream visits from Mr Pro Whipp
If you were in the region for any previous lockdowns, you’d be well aware of this big-hearted ice cream man who is visiting kids around Geelong for their birthdays in lockdown.
Since the beginning of the entire pandemic, ‘Mr Pro Whipp’ AKA Ben Ramos has been visiting multiple suburbs and birthday’s in the region, and is back again for lockdown #5, delivering a saving grace for many parents in the Geelong region.
Each day, Mr Pro Whipp will post to the Facebook group ‘Mr.Pro Whipp Ice Crean Van locations: Geelong’ detailing the suburbs he’ll be driving through. Across the day, he posts street locations of the suburbs as he approaches them. If it’s in a 5km radius from others in the area, they’re all welcome to come for a visit and grab a scoop.
The sweetest part of all is that there are no booking fees or any additional costs for requesting a visit for your child’s birthday – all you need to do is pay for the ice cream. To request a visit, simple message the suburb and date as well as some info about the birthday.
While they can’t get to every request, they certainly try their best and put a priority on kids who are missing out on regular birthday celebrations.
Please note, as the weather gets wet and windy, they may have to postpone their visit. But stay up to date with their whereabouts via the Facebook page here.
If you’re in Anglesea territory, Cannoli Bar @73 is giving away free cannoli with every coffee purchase on Wednesday, July 21.
This dedicated store is the venture behind cannoli masters Tony and Jamie Romanella from Laneway 73 in Anglesea – a funky cafe tucked away in the small coastal town. In a first for the Surf Coast, Cannoli Bar @73 stocks a selection of Italian donuts, cannoli and biscuits together with assorted wine from both Italy and local wineries.
If you’re a regular on Facebook or part of the Surf Coast community pages, you’ve probably seen regular posts coming from Jamie, who dubs himself ‘the cannoli man’. Baking up a storm and offering weekend cannoli deliveries over the last few months via socials, the desire for cannoli has been astounding with the treats selling out most weekends. And seriously, just one look at these babies and you too would have been sold.
Beautifully crafted and downright delicious, these little tubes of joy will be available from 8am to 12pm.
Bless you, Mr cannoli man.
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Sweet Coast Cupcakes Giveaway
Sprinkling love across the community, Surf Coast home bakery Sweet Coast Cupcakes are aiming to bring a smile to people faces by delivering free boxes of cupcakes to people in the community. Dubbed the ‘You Rock Giveaway’, people have the chance to nominate someone in the community to receive a six-pack of cupcakes. The person you nominate goes into a random draw to win.
They’re currently giving away six boxes of cupcakes which will go out this Saturday in the Surf Coast and Geelong region.
To enter someone special, simply head over to their Instagram, like and follow their page, tag someone in the comments. Entries will close Friday, July 23 at 12pm and be announced Friday evening.
Get tagging cupcake lovers! These babies are the real deal and are sure to lift anyone’s spirits with each and every bite.
Free Pizza in Torquay
Local legends and creators of good beer for everyone, Blackman’s Brewery are always one of the first to get behind the local community and now they’ve done it again.
The Surf Coast brewery will be offering free pizza for Torquay Hospo’s who have lost work this Thursday.
“It’s another tough one for the hospitality industry and we’re all feeling it with the lockdown extension. There are so many casual staff with no work, including our team of legends.”
If you’re a casual hospo in Torquay with no shifts while they BB team are all back doing Takeaway, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and they’ll sort you out a free takeaway pizza (to collect) this Thursday.
In a time where many live paycheck to paycheck, this is a kind gesture that you should definitely get around if you can.
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Jack Rabbit x Feed Me Bellarine
While many of our local hospitality venues like wineries don’t know when they’ll be re-opening, one such venue is putting the people and families in our community first.
Loved Bellarine winery Jack Rabbit is raising money for Feed Me Bellarine, a food sharing program helping feed local vulnerable families. They are cooking over 4100 meals a week and delivering food relief to over 700 families. Their volunteers are running a seven day a week program, they don’t close. Those in charge are receiving calls that are getting more desperate.
Extending a hand to those in crisis and in desperate need of a meal, the winery is donating a portion of their sales to the local organisation.
Until 11.59pm on Tuesday, July 27, for each and every dozen Jack Rabbit wine purchased online, they will donate $50 to Feed Me Bellarine, or for each and every half dozen Jack Rabbit wine purchased online, they will donate $25 to Feed Me Bellarine. Plus your purchase automatically includes a 20% discount and FREE DELIVERY across Victoria.
Every $50 or $25 will go a long way towards helping those in crisis and struggling to put food on the table. This isn’t a money-making venture for the winery, not by a long shot. If you can’t purchase any wine maybe you might consider learning more about and/or donating directly to Feed Me Bellarine.
So far the business has raised almost $1000 in under 24 hours for them – let’s see if they can double it!?
Click here for their wine shop.
Lockdown Feel Good Pack
These lockdowns can be mentally tough on everyone (we’ve certainly felt it). To help lift up the community, F45 in Torquay is giving away a ‘Feel Good’ prize pack in the hopes of sending some positivity and happiness one lucky locals’s way, while also helping support some local and amazing businesses.
The prize pack includes clothing from LSKD, a $75 voucher to use at Torquay Sports Medicine Centre @torquaysmc, Magnesium Oil Roll On from Mind Body Salt @mindbodysaltgeelong, Coffee Vouchers from The Salty Dog Cafe @thesaltydogcafetorquay and one week of FREE training with us at F45 Torquay when they reopen @f45_training_torquay
All you have to do is follow the brands on Insta, like the post and tell them why you should win. The random winner will be notified on Saturday 24th at 10am. Entrances are open now to local regional Victorians only.
Go on, you deserve to feel good.
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Free delivery services to those in need
One that has left us feeling hopeful and connected in these difficult times is the group of kind-hearted taxi drivers who offer to deliver packages and parcels free of charge to people in need in the Geelong region – every single lockdown.
Once again, these legends are back offering to deliver any kind of parcel free of cost to the elderly, to those with disabilities, and to friends and family who are in isolation and cannot leave their home in the Geelong region while the state is in circuit-breaker restrictions.
The parcels can include food and groceries, medication, click and collect from supermarkets, or any other small items which can fit in a standard car. The parcels can be delivered between 10am and 5pm for those within a 10km radius of the location, but if there’s anything urgent, the big-hearted drivers will do their best to accommodate. The parcel must be supplied by you and if it is click and collect it must be paid in full.
To organise a delivery for someone in need, simply call or send a text message with your name, pick up address and type of delivery.
For Mount Duneed, Armstrong and Surroundings areas, you can message Harry (0469 921 827) and Raman (0430 791 456); for Leopold and surroundings you can message Sam (0490 060914) and for East Geelong and surroundings you can message Kev (0421 183 255).
Good Bread Project: gifting loaves to locals across Geelong
This one’s been going for a while but it’s still one of the best kind acts going around and is especially important in these times of isolation.
Passionate cook, self-taught baker and mother of four, Jo created The Good Bread Project three years ago when she moved from Melbourne to Geelong. The Good Bread Project operates in two ways: pay it forward – firstly, two loaves of bread are delivered to random houses in the Geelong region on Saturdays and Sundays and those recipients then nominate who they want to gift bread to (all free of charge), or secondly, for a small contribution, you can gift bread to someone who you think deserves some loving.
Straight from Jo’s oven to your doorstep, all the handmade loaves are 100% organic sourdough, and are made with white and wholegrain flour, starter culture, sea salt and water. Jo tells us that the whole process takes over 24 hours, so a lot of hard laboured love goes into every loaf sent out.
Organising a delivery from The Good Bread Project could be a thoughtful reminder to a loved one who might be struggling and give them a reason to smile during this grim lockdown period.
You can do so here.
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If seeing people using their downtime to help their community doesn’t warm your soul today, I don’t know what will.