Christmas generosity overwhelming

In the lead up to Christmas we were overwhelmed by the generosity of the community with their donations of gifts for women and children, as well as bedding, clothes, toiletries and much more. A huge thank you to everyone who donated in the lead up to Christmas and we would like to say a special thank you to some groups, businesses and schools.

Melbourne Christmas Trees continued their annual donation of live trees for McAuley House and McAuley Care. The smell of a fresh tree beautifully decorated helps make a very hard time a little less difficult. Also thanks to Christmas Boxes for the donation of boxes of non-perishable food for the women across all our programs.

The generosity of residents at 150 Clarendon apartments in East Melbourne and Balencea on St Kilda Road was amazing. Each apartment block had a tree in the foyer where residents left a wrapped present for a child or women. It is great to be able to give presents to the women for their children, and for the children to be able to give something to their mum on Christmas day.

A supporter, Michelle, rallied her friends and family to collect a wide range of items for the women. There were gifts, toys, clothes, jewellery and toiletries – items for Christmas and everyday needs, and greatly appreciated.

Business such as NAB CRI Team, Jellis Craig Flemington, Jellis Craig Foundation and Footscray Library all called on staff and customers to donate either a present or toiletries. The Reject Shop HR Team at Head Office won the best decorated space and the prize was a wonder bounty of toys that they generously dropped off to our Kensington office.

Thanks need to go to three schools. Firstly to the Year 9 students at Our Lady of Mercy College who purchased gift vouchers from Priceline, Chemist Warehouse, Coles Myer, Village and Hoyts. These will be given to women to use. Being able to buy your own things, or choosing what film to see, may seem like a small thing, but for women at McAuley this is extremely empowering.

Thanks also to Mercy College Coburg students who made the wonderful shoe box gifts. The students make up a box that is for an age-specific child and is a mix of books, pencils, toiletries, games – things that a child would like.

Lastly, thanks to Mt Lilydale Mercy College who raised funds to buy items needed for children at McAuley. They utilised Woolworths online shopping and delivery, buying a range of pens, pencils, text books, scrap books, chalk and other school supplies and having them delivered directly to our Kensington office.

The generosity was amazing and not only were we able to ensure every woman and child who was at McAuley over the Christmas break received a gift but we also have toys, books, pencils and colouring books on hand for birthday presents, to keep the play room at McAuley Care stocked, as well as updating some at Court Support 4 Kids. We have been able to pull together back-to-school stationery kits for children at McAuley Care and for clients of McAuley Works, as well as use some of the gift vouchers for school clothes. Our cupboard is now well-stocked with toiletries for those coming into the crisis program.

The support from the community for the women and children is greatly appreciated and we thank everyone of your incredible support, as we couldn’t do it without you.

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