Two mums who just wanted to keep Canberra's homeless warm have been brought to tears after seeing people wearing the thermals the community bought them.
Belconnen mums Soudalay Thammavongsa and Emma Madsen raised 10 times more money than they originally intended after asking Canberrans to spare the $10 note they might have spent on lunch or parking to buy thermal gloves, beanies or socks for the city's rough sleepers.
With the $10,425 donated by generous Canberrans, the team behind 'Spare 10' have so far bought 151 pairs of socks, 132 pairs of gloves and 132 beanies.
The pair also purchased some tarps and camp mattresses for rough sleepers, as well as 128 sleeping bags that will soon be handed out to those without a warm bed to curl up in this winter.
Ms Thammavongsa said speaking with people at the van had driven home just how much people living on Canberra's streets needed the warm gear.
"As we were walking up we saw so many people wearing our thermals and we started crying because we couldn't believe it, it just made such a direct local impact on people who needed it and who are struggling to keep warm," Ms Thammavongsa said.
"Just to get that personal feedback from actual recipients was awesome. One gentleman said he was so grateful it was keeping him so warm, he had our beanie on and you could just see in his eyes it was genuine."
Spare 10 was inspired by a woman Ms Thammavongsa saw recently while on her lunch break.
"She had no shoes, no socks and she was shaking and shivering," Ms Thammavongsa said
"We talked to a few of our friends who work for the Vinnies night patrol vans and they said a lot of homeless people who get their meals at the vans are also asking for spare socks, gloves, beanies and scarves and we were like, 'we should do that'."
They had originally hoped to raise $1000 by the end of the month. By the end of the week, they had raised close to $2500.
Ms Madsen said the van now has enough thermals to see them through to the end of the winter.
She said they are already planning how they can run the campaign next year.
"I think the real message is we all can make a difference and it doesn't take that much effort and it makes such a huge impact in the end," Ms Madsen said.
"A simple idea can be a lot bigger and mean so much to someone else."