High Tea Appeal Summary

Whilst our May High Tea Appeal has raised almost $20,000; it has achieved more than that. It has proved to be a great friend-raiser for our organisation. More than 30 high teas were held in May and the kettle continues to boil for events in June. Importantly, many of the high teas were organised by people who did not have a previous association with McAuley Community Services for Women but who wanted to get behind an organisation that is supporting women who are forced to flee family violence or who are homeless.

The High Tea Appeal was held in May because this is when we celebrate Mother’s Day. Tragically, this year 81 women didn’t get to celebrate this day with their children, or their own mothers, because they have died as a result of family violence.

McAuley Community Services for Women aims to break this cycle and ensure that women, who are unsafe in their homes, have a safe and welcoming place to go with their children. And we do. In fact, McAuley Care is the only accessible safe house in Victoria open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing crisis accommodation to women and their children who are escaping family violence. It has accommodated more than 10,000 women and children since it was started more than 20 years ago.

The High Teas were held in all sorts of places by all sorts of people of all ages. Clare Myers from Hawthorn served up high tea with a distinctly French flavour and raised $1300. Therese Slee invited friends to have a cuppa on a vintage train dining car at the Newport Railway Workshops. The Stamford Plaza Melbourne hosted two high teas in late May serving beautiful food and drinks to our wonderful supporters. Thanks to big business for getting behind such a burgeoning grass roots campaign such as this one, including NAB, law firm Maurice Blackburn, the City of Maribyrnong and Natalie Asseraf from Exterior – The Style Room in Hawthorn who donated the proceeds of every candle sold at her beautiful store through May. Several groups with long established links to the Mercy Sisters, who began this work almost 30 years ago, ran High Teas so that the work of these pioneering Sisters can continue.

McAuley Community Services for Women would like to thank everyone who has hosted a high tea and those still to have their event. Thank you to our patron, Channel 7 newsreader Rebecca Maddern who continues to support our organisation. The campaign has meant that more people know about the plight of women fleeing family violence and about women who are homeless. We hope to run the appeal again next year.