Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Packing Day March 21st 2010

Well, I can hardly believe it! 
We have completed our second packing day. In the weeks before the big day I spent hours stocktaking clothing and sorting sizes into sets ready to pack into the bags.

 (Jaala and Des look at the stocktaked items! Crikey...)

Turns out I needed to do WAY more stocktaking than this!

When the girls turned up to pack we counted the number and type of nappies, bottles and dummies. Who knew that dummies come in different sizes? I surely didn't! I also found out that feeding bottles come in different 'flows' depending on the age of the baby. In case you didn't know - I don't have my own kids, (yet).

So, once all that was organised we started packing. Tracy's mum, Allison came along thank goodness and she made us cups of tea and coffee as well as sandwiches and sweets!

I felt we were much more organised this time, even though we did send Jaala in to the bargain stores to get extra dummies and bottles!
(torches and tissues)

The day was really busy and we only stopped for caramel tart with mini marshmallows on top and Dad's Greek Shortbread at the end of the day.

We managed to pack 117 bags that day. 

(the dogs are 'on guard', Staffies!)

The next day I got a call for some specific sized bags for an agency. So I packed another 6.

62 bags went to Thuringowa near Townsville, and I've had calls from as far away as Ipswich, Bundaburg, Mornington Island as well as local agencies.


So, are we making any sort of difference?

Here's something I heard today. An agency worker delivered a bag to a boy in his teens. The boy was excited to receive the brand new satchel school bag. It contained underwear, Lynx shower gel and deoderant, toothbrush/paste, a large blankie (with a US sports team on it), a torch, soap, shampoo and conditioner. Only one shirt was included because I didn't have any clothing for a kid his size.

According to the agency worker, he laid everything out on the bed on top of the blanket and organised his new things. These few items were his to control in a situation that was totally out of his control. He was very grateful and totally beaming that he had been given these things.

Is that a beautiful story or what?

Of course, none of this is possible without your help and the dedicated project team here in Innisfail.

ABC Radio Far North

Download now or listen on posterous
backpacks.mp3 (1909 KB)

I was really excited to be interviewed by ABC Radio Far North a few weeks ago.  I got a great response from the interview, lots of calls and kind words. 

I'd love it if you had a listen. It goes for about 8 mins, and apparently I say 'um' more than once!

Filling backpacks and nappy bags with essential and personal items for children going into foster and kinship care.

Posted via email from backpacks4aussiekids's posterous

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

PakMag article for NQ Baby and Child Expo

Image of Pak Mag from Twitter

Pak Mag, once again, thank you for your support of our project. The article can be found on page 14.
The magazines editor Bree has been extremely helpful and we are so glad to have met her.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

North Queensland Baby and Child Expo

The Project has done it's very first Expo. The North Queensland Baby and Child Expo in Cairns.

I had emailed the organiser explaining that while we couldn't afford a booth, would I be able to put some posters up and hand out flyers to the stall holders. The lovely Jodie did more than that! She gave us a booth, organised  a pull up canvas sign and artwork, advertising and and organised an article in Pak Mag and gave one free adult ticket to families that bought along a donation for the project.

It was such a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and get the message out to the general public about the project.

My car was absolutely chockers with donations on the way home from the two day expo! (Thank goodness packing day is soon!)

I was lucky enough to meet Terry Doyle who is a wonderful kids music entertainer, the President of the Babinda QCWA, Curtis Pitt (our local member), a channel 7 news crew and so many other wonderfully generous people.

From the Expo, I was asked to be interviewed on ABC radio Far North and from that interview I have had calls of support and pledges of donations.

All this because Jodie from 'themevents' gave us her time and provided us will space at the expo.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Project gets some much needed sponsorship!

Felicity's Wish Foundation (Brisbane)
(extract taken from the site )

"Felicity’s Wish is a foundation established in October 2008 by her friends and family as a memorial
to ensure her life long goals are perpetuated.

Felicity was an extremely passionate, vibrant young woman and the Felicity’s Wish Foundation aims to continue that passion in the many avenues that were significant to her. Felicity began her career as a paediatric nurse and as a result she was very enthusiastic about caring for sick children, working with community organisations and the many aspects of breast cancer.
Felicity Purcell’s life ended on the 5th August 2008 at the young age of just 33 after enduring  a year long battle with breast cancer."

2010 is the second year for this new Foundation and their gala night in Brisbane raised $75,000! Backpacks 4 Aussie Kids was chosen as one of  8 charities/non profit groups that they would support.

When Simone Taylor from the group contacted me earlier this year I was completely stunned. However, I was so excited at the prospect of actually being recognised for the work the project is doing I hurt my ankle from all the jumping up and down I did!

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to receive a phone call in early March from Simone, telling me that their group was going to donate $6,000 worth of goods to B4AK. Again, I was stunned and there was much jumping up and down (more carefully this time however!), and we made a plan to create a list of the items most needed, check out prices and sources and then organise for the the items to be purchased at the best price as needed.

Amazing right? But wait . . .  there's more.

My partner Bruce was not as excited as I, because our home has basically become an op shop. He can't get to his ute downstairs, or his tools and the washing machine is only really accessed once a week on a 'need to wash' basis.

Just when I thought I was going to have to tell Simone that we were not able to take the donations in bulk, our problem was solved.

Tracy and I met with Phil and Gilda of Liquid Tile Cairns. They have to be the loveliest people on the planet. They offered us warehouse storage in Cairns as well as offering to store bags ready for delivery. Phil and Gilda have a lifetime of experience in business and are looking to source backpacks for us at an unbelievable price.

If that wasn't enough!

We then met with David, the Managing Director of the Overflow in Far North Queensland. And I have to thank Fleur for setting this all in motion. David offered us storage space at our local Overflow in Innisfail, and practically insisted on getting us a pallet load of new undies in all sizes for both boys and girls AS WELL as more storage tubs!

On top of this, (and at Fleur's suggestion), David has agreed to have collection points at all the Overflow stores he owns (that's 6 stores people!) and he's arranging a few other little things for us as well.
It's been a blessed week for the project.

Our packing day is tomorrow and I've been contacted by about 6 DOC's offices who would like more information and requesting bags.

Happy does not describe this feeling :o)

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