As overnight temperatures start to really drop across the Dubbo region, spare a thought for those who may not have a roof over their head.
These are the people who, on a good night, might be able to crash on a friend’s lounge or, on a bad night, might take what shelter they can under the stars.
It would shock most residents to think that our prosperous community could be home to people forced to sleep rough, but that is the sad reality.
But these issue goes further than that.
While those sleeping outdoors are certainly doing the toughest, soaring electricity prices mean nights can get very cold even for people who do have a home.
Local charity groups tell us they are seeing more and more people every year who have been desperately described as the working poor.
These are the families who are doing their best to carry on the facade of a normal life but are struggling behind closed doors to make ends meet.
They may not be unemployed but many people in our community are under-employed without enough money coming in to meet the rising cost of living.
And they may be faced with the impossible decision of putting food on the table for the night or turning on the heating.
It’s a decision with no correct answer and a choice that no one should have to make in the lucky country.
Naturally, as demand on local charities increases so too must they turn more and more to the local community for assistance.
There are never enough blankets, doonas or warm clothes to go around so those of us who can help really should.
Is there a coat you haven’t worn for a couple of years, a woolly jumper spending more time in your drawers than wrapped around you or track pants or a hoodie that don’t get the regular outing they once did?
Think of the space you will be gaining in your cupboards.
Think of the warm feeling you will achieve by giving and the warm feeling you will give someone less fortunate who would otherwise being facing a lot of cold, chilly nights in coming months.
You can donate at any of the charity stores in town.
They will appreciate your donation, but the city’s needy will appreciate it even more.
Because nobody deserves to be cold in Dubbo this winter.