Upwey has once again demonstrated what a caring and generous community it is by raising funds for one of its local heroes, Gavin Smith, better known as the Soupee man.
For ten years Gavin has braved the elements bringing a smile and warm cup of soup to those who visit his marquee on a Friday afternoon in Upwey.
Recently, the Upwey community launched a GoFundMe project to raise funds for his latest venture – providing blankets and other comforts for some doing it tough in Melbourne’s streets.
The aim was to use the funds to purchase a van to make the transport of items more efficient.
Just over $14,000 was raised, and the money enabled Gavin to purchase a van from Ferntree Gully Hyundai, who also gave generous financial support to the great community project.
Chairman of the Dandenong Ranges Community Bank Group, John Waters said he was thrilled the bank could assist, so that he could bring his valuable service and connection to the community.
“Gavin is a local treasure and he cares about people,” he said.
“The new van will help him to help many people who are in need, and our group was happy to contribute $5,000 to this project.”
Over the years, Soupees has also been assisted by Belgrave Rotary and Upwey Township Group.
Upwey Township Group President, Andrew Fullagar said the van was a small token of the Community’s appreciation for Gavin’s work in Upwey
“It’s wonderful to see Gavin on the receiving end of kindness,” Mr Fullagar said.