Monday, February 16, 2009

Update on Rainbow Comfort Packs and Hello to Handmade Help!

We have been in-undated with donations, via post and drop ins!
Thank you to everyone so far... it's been an amazing week. Yes, it's a week today that Rainbow Comfort Packs have been in operation and it looks like we are in it for the long term.
freshly arrived packages from the post!

My initial idea was to get the packs out to all kids at the various Emergency Relief Centres set up across the state, but during last week we saw how much the general population donated various items to charity (which is fantastic!). All the charities are bursting with all sorts of things and as a result, don't (or rather can't) accept any packs.
After trying various avenues, mainly large departments and organisations, I came to the point where I didn't know how I was going to go about distributing the fruits of our labour.

bpab packs ready to put into bags

Well I believe in putting thoughts out into the universe and letting the universe provide a way.
Over the weekend I contacted Pip from Meet Me At Mikes fame, as she is one of the beautiful people working with the Handmade Help appeal, to see what they were doing with all the handmade donations they were collecting.
Anyway, in the course of emailing each other (how else do you do things these days??) we have joined forces and will now co-ordinate distribution and help each project in any way possible. As a result, we are now looking directly at the community at large (YOU!).

If you are directly affected, or know someone who is - we can work with day care centers, kinders, schools, hospitals, maternal health centers.... places that are starting to look after children and families who would benefit from some extra comfort and attention.
We can get packs out to these places, we just need to know numbers and age groups so we can cater the packs to those who need them. We have packs for babies, all age groups for children up to 10 and even young teens (this last one is a special task force project).
Think of a child now being sent to another day care center, because their one has been destroyed and how strange it would feel. The carer gives them a beautiful bag and says "This is just for you. It was made by some people who care about you and want you to feel safe and comforted. " The child opens the bag and inside there are surprises to cuddle and keep him busy, while his parents do important errands to rebuild their lives.

This project and Handmade Help will be for the long term. We will not go away once the media does. We know these families will need our support and assistance later down the track.
So please keep those donations and hand made gifts coming.... it's not too late.

I'm also a drop off point for Hand made Help items too, if you are near by. Handmade Help gives the opportunity for crafting all sorts of items for the home, as well as any age group... as we all love a handmade gift!

Lastly, I'm sorry to those who feel this is all a wasted effort. This started up as a way we could help without money. I'm in no position to donate cash and I don't have the time to sell stuff to raise money (personally). But lots of other people can and do, so I reckon doing this project is just as meaningful too. (I don't want sympathy comments please, just addressing negative vibes that have gone around lately.) What everyone is doing in their small way, is important and we need to keep a community spirit going because depression is high up there when events like this occur.

Here is some more reading (if you haven't gotten square eyes yet!), all worth your time and will help you see why we're doing such important projects:

Last saturday's Sewing Bee (great photos and lots done!) Thanks Nikki!!
Why handmade does actually help (Soozs blog post)
Tips from a bushfire survivor (Canberra fires)

Thanks again for your ongoing support!
I'll keep you in the loop. x


Jetta's Nest said...

Hi Monica. I really admire all the sweetness you're pouring into the rainbow packs and would love to applique some t-shirts if any more are needed. I've got a couple of them already done from market stock that I wanted to donate but wasn't quite sure if I'm supposed to post them to you or not. When you get a chance can you please let me know :) Thanks.

Hot Fudge said...

Hi Monica

Thank you so much for the message you left on my blog. I am glad the parcel arrived safely and I really admire the heroic effort you have put into this. Don't let the small negative feedback get to you - you are doing a wonderful job.