Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Perth Project Underway!!!

A couple of months ago a lovely lady by the name of Susan Merriman got in touch with me about the possibility of helping out the project in some way. She'd been considering starting something similar in her area. We had several chats via email and Skype and her enthusiasm for the needs of the kids seemed to match my own! 
So off she went, made contacts in her area, sent me her resume and described her plan for helping the kids in need where she lives.  

This is her!

Here’s my story so far...

About two months ago a friend of mine emailed a group of us and asked us if we would all donate some children’s underwear to an amazing friend of hers who was running a wonderful organisation called Backpacks 4 Aussie Kids. I looked up her website and read what it was all about. I was so amazed and touched by what Des was doing that my initial reaction (after crying) was to try to get as many backpacks together and donate them to her.

So I rang Des and had a long chat with her...it was during this conversation that I realised that not only was no one that she knew of was doing this over in WA but also what an achievable thing it was that she was doing...so I decided that I would try to start it up here in WA.

My husband was away at the time and being the more practical one of us his first reaction was, ‘And where will we store all of this, Sus?’ (our house is tiny), but by this stage I had already sent out my initial email to everyone I knew asking for help, ideas, suggestions and, most of all, donations!

Well, they came in thick and fast...along with being put in touch with a wonderful lady, Bev...who got hold of some new and very cool backpacks! A beautiful girlfriend of mine made me up a flyer and I was on my way...set to start packing!

Over the next few weeks my phone rang hot with people wanting to help and/or donate. I had one phone call from a guy who had read my email through a friend of a friend and asked me if I knew of a website where I could buy backpacks in an auction. He rang me again half an hour later to say that he had bought me 20. They arrived today!!

I packed for three days and with the amazing help of a friend who popped in to drop off her donations, saw what a pickle I was in and stayed for four hours helping...this morning I was able to deliver 72 packs to Fostering Services. What a feeling!!

Three little helpers came around this afternoon, and with their help another 30 backpacks are waiting to be delivered. Great work, girls!!

I am hoping to go far with the backpacks, just as Despina has done in Queensland. My venture so far has only confirmed my thoughts that community spirit is as strong as ever...people really want to be involved in their community and help others in need.

Sue has now packed over 100 backpacks for kids in need!
If you are in W.A, Perth or nearby or anywhere really and want to help, please email me at despinaparakas@yahoo.com.au or comment on our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/backpacks4aussiekids  and I'll pass on your details to Sue.


SilverMoon Dragon said...

That's awesome! Is there someone in Victoria doing it yet?

despina said...

Not yet ;o)

Rebecca-Rose said...

Despina...you are amazing! My husband and I are in the application process to become foster carers. As a primary teacher I have witnessed the blossoming of children in good foster homes, and have always wanted to do this. I was sitting talking to my husband about how the children often come with nothing and how much we will be able to offer. He was shocked by this and I know it's going to be a learning curve for both of us! I was so impressed when I found your organisation through a friend on facebook. I am so excited to see that this is happening. What a wonderful person you and all others involved in this are!

I hope I can find a way to support your valuable work!

Kind Regards, Rebecca.

despina said...

Thanks for your kinds words! I am also a teacher and have seen the good and bad side of fostering, if you have any questions or just want to vent feel free to get in touch!
Best of luck with your application!
des :o)

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