Women’s and Children’s Care Packages Delivered – How YOU Have Helped Domestic Violence Survivors
A couple of weeks ago, I was honoured and so very happy to be able to make a delivery of 60 women’s and children’s care packages, plus many many extras to the Combined Women’s Refuge Group – a collection of women’s refuges which helps families escape from domestic violence situations.
This has been many many months in the making. It all started when the Mummy Smiles Facebook page celebrated the 3000th Liker. An auction was held to raise money for the purchase of items for the care packages, and many businesses donated individual items to be included.
Can I be totally honest for a minute, and say how utterly exhausting – physically and emotionally this has been at times. There have been moments when I doubted if it would all come together, and moments of such frustration at how callous and cruel the world can be when hearing about the increasing numbers of women who are victims of violence in their own homes. In the last few months, I have also faced more rejection and more “No’s” from companies than I ever thought possible. Some brands were interested in hearing more about being part of the project until they heard the words “domestic violence”, and then they ran for cover – not wanting to associate their brands with “that sort of thing”, which just goes to show how deeply the stereotypes and misconceptions about domestic violence can run. The condescension and turning up the noses was almost more than I could bear. There were times when I felt humiliated about asking for donations.
But in hindsight, I am grateful for these feelings because it really made me more determined to deliver on my promises. Domestic violence happens. It’s that simple. There’s nothing lovely or cute or marketable about it. It’s crap and its awful and its heartbreaking. And it affects everyone – whether you know it or not. The statistics don’t lie. One day I might even share my story… one day.
So let me start by saying THANK YOU. To every single brand and business that jumped on board and said “Yes. We Care.” Your compassion, your support, your commitment to mothers and children who deserve better, is absolutely inspiring. It’s not easy to make a donation and to never ever see the smiles that it brings – but trust me. Your donations have made a HUGE difference, and right when they are needed most.
Thank you also to the hundreds of readers who have made this possible in so many ways – donating goods to the auction, sharing my posts, making cash donations, bidding on the items, sending donations for the care packages, and lastly, for the many many emails that you sent me to tell me your story. Every single one of you has put a piece of your heart into this project and I am so thankful to have been able to see this generosity of spirit through simple acts of reaching out to other mothers in need.
So without further ado, here are the final packages!
The 30 Women’s Care Packages consisted of:
- Sandillo (portable bag / pillow) – donated by reader, Margie
- Shampoo and Conditioner – donated by Amara Hair Studio
- Deoderant – donated by Avon Australia
- Body Moisturiser – donated by Avon Australia
- Face Moisturiser – donated by Avon Australia
- Handmade Soap – donated by reader, Joanne
- Toothbrush – purchased with auction proceeds
- Toothpaste – purchased with auction proceeds
- Tissues – purchased with auction proceeds
- $20 Wish Gift Card – purchased with auction proceeds
The 30 Kids’ Care Packages consisted of:
- Mini Ergo Backpack – donated by Kids Lifestyle
- Box of Crayons – donated by Crayola
- Teddy Bear – sourced by Daily Baby Buys and purchased with auction proceeds OR a baby Love Doll donated by Debs Steiner Dolls
- Dr Seuss story book - purchased with auction proceeds
- Exercise book - purchased with auction proceeds
- Toothbrush - purchased with auction proceeds
- Toothpaste - purchased with auction proceeds
I would also like to thank my wonderful Mum, who has been such a constant and positive supporter of the project. Without her help, there is no way that I could have packaged and boxed all these up – and I might possibly have drowned under all the boxes in my lounge room!
It was such a proud moment to unload the car, and hand them over to the Refuge groups.
And even more exciting was the opportunity to present the Refuge Secretariat with a cheque for $500!
As I stood in the meeting room, and explained to the refuge managers what this amazing community had done to put this together, I looked into the beautiful and kind faces of all the women who sat before me, and thought how lucky I was to be meeting them in such pleasant and happy circumstances. And my stomach flipped at the thought of the women they had seen in less happy circumstances – probably even the night before as I lay sleeping warmly in the arms of my husband. I felt lucky – so bloody lucky.
I was so touched to receive an email from the Refuge Group’s secretariat that very afternoon.
So this is to YOU. To every single one of you who made this all possible…. I leave you with these beautiful words…
“We were all overwhelmed this morning with the care packages and donations you delivered. Both you and your readers have obviously put a lot of thought and effort into them and the refuge managers were all quite touched that you would all think of our clients in this way.
Women’s refuges adhere to the belief that the use of violence by one person against another is unacceptable and that women and children have the right to be safe from violence. We are committed to actively participating in the prevention, intervention and education strategies that will put an end to domestic violence.
Women and children entering refuge often have had to leave their entire lives behind and they come to us often with nothing but the clothes on their back. There is no telling what a comforting teddy bear would mean to a child in that situation, and some special belongings of their very own. Or what a package of personal items so thoughtfully chosen would mean for a woman facing a new start with nothing. Your generous support will assist many women and their children to begin their journey towards healing.
We thank you both for your thoughtful donations and for your consideration & openness to discussing and bringing to light the reality of domestic violence and how we can all work together to bring an end to this issue. We look forward to the day when our services are no longer needed, and women and children can live their lives free from violence. With support from people like yourselves, we have hope that one day this may become a reality.” - Liz.