I don't do as much as I'd like to do for this group,
but I do what I can, when I can.
Following is a post the owner of K4BN Karen, put up for the group. It explains a typical day in her and her husband's life as they go out and deliver the wonderful items that are donated to the group, by people who just want to do something, anything to help!
After attending the Ipswich Homeless Connect Day a few weeks earlier, they promised many organisations they would come back with more items that were desperately needed, and of course they kept their promise.
With Karen's permission I can share her post as other bloggers are doing, to make others more aware of what goes on in our city, and who's trying to help.
WE WENT TO IPSWICH TODAY (WEDNESDAY 4TH JULY)
Peter and I ventured out to Ipswich today to deliver items that had been
requested from 7 different organisations when we were at the Ipswich Street
Links Day last month.
We took over 1500 items, so we are looking "bare" again in our "warehouse" (aka
spare bedroom!) but know it won't be long before we have another good stock!!
It was rather cold when we left home and when we got out there. 7 completely
different organisations, with completely different clientele, but all with the
same story, they have more clients than they have money, food, clothes, blankets
etc to give them! We saw for ourselves just one instance of someone in dire
need, doesn't know where to turn to next.
The first one we dropped off donations to, were telling us how normally once a
week they are able to give financial help to pay bills etc to those in ABSOLUTE
NEED, and sometimes give them food vouchers but they can't do that now as the
funding they get from the government is $xxx per year, and they have already
used up every $xxx and have to wait till September for the next round of funding
and then they aren't guaranteed of getting any! They told us that on a normal
Wednesday, when they have interviews for financial/food help they see AT LEAST
30 people or in other words at least 30 families. They were telling us about a
man who had turned up there this morning before we got there, seeking help. He
and his wife and child/ren (not sure how many children) had had to move out of
where they were renting because first of all he was made redundant from a job he
had been in since he left school, can't find another job as yet, then their
rental property was sold and the rent with the new owners went up $100 p.w.
extra and they just couldn't afford it. Same story, they go to at least 10
houses up for rent per day but always miss out. The last few days he has spent a
lot of the day finding somewhere for his wife and child/ren to sleep, whilst he
sleeps in their car. anyway the ladies at this centre told him they couldn't
offer him anything in $$$ help or food, BUT to come back later as they knew we
were coming. He turned up whilst we were there, he went inside then came back
out to go back to his car but knowing his circumstances we asked the lady we
were speaking to if we could offer him a nice warm 3/4 length jacket, new, that
we had there. (JO FROM INDOOROPILLY - YOU WILL KNOW THE JACKET I AM SPEAKING
ABOUT!!!) He was wearing a thin long sleeved top, jeans that had seen better
days, and I couldn't tell you what was on his feet. But he actually cried when
we offered it to him, and then when the girl told him that they could now give
him some blankets for himself, wife and children and other things he got very
emotional. When we left he was at his car, standing holding a baby of about 9
months old, wife was sitting in the car, but this little baby was dressed nice
and warmly (it was 1 degree in Ipswich when we were there!) but coughing its
little heart out, red eyes , very pale looking...apparently they had taken the
baby to a doctor, given a prescription but didn't have the money for the
prescription, that's why they were trying to get a few $$'s from the centre.
Peter made me walk away...he knew what I was thinking...I wanted to give them
the money...He knows me so well ....he also knew that if I gave them money then
saw someone else in real need at one of the other centres, I would want to do
the same there. Gee I wish I was rich!!!
Then the stories we heard at the other various places that we went to, are just
as bad. We got to have good chats with quite a few of the "senior" personnel in
some of these organisations, and now know that a lot of them and their staff
often put their hands in their own pockets to help someone out in real desperate
need, but they can't do that all the time either, they have their own families
etc to look after.
As a man from Shelter NSW said in the Today Tonight interview tonight, (where
they interview a young mum with a 5 year old boy who are living in a tent in a
caravan park for $180 p.w., its all they can afford) in such a rich country as
Australia is, it just SHOULDN'T happen...but it does...then they went straight
onto the next story ... the politicians pay rise...even the backbenchers RISE is
more than some people earn in a year!!
But each and every organisation we went to were just so very, very truly
grateful and overwhelmed with what we were able to give them. Unfortunately we
couldn't fill every wish list, but we tried. One of the things we couldn't
fulfill were toiletry bags... we have the bags but not much to go in them at
this stage!! We have promised 100 toiletry bags to one place by the end of
August ...so if you go to knit and natters please buy raffle tickets, from the
trading tables etc!!!! lol ...
At some of them the talk got around to Christmas and how every year it is
getting worse for organisations trying to help those in need give their child
just one small present.
SO if you are wondering what to make and like making toys; clothing, etc this is
a heads up of what we will be getting asked for! ONe place in particular also
said that toiletries are much needed in the summer months, they have 2 showers
where they are, that homeless are able to use and they use them especially in
summer when its hot and sticks, but they normally don't have toiletries, and the
organisation doesn't get the funding to supply them!
So Christmas may be over 5 months away but these places are already thinking
But they are all still worried about the cooler days/nights ahead of their
clients. I think that from everyone we met at these organisations today 98% of
them do what they do because they love doing it and trying to make a difference,
not just for the pay! Beautiful people!
But they all think that we, as a group, as just absolutely fantastic, tremendous
and all of those things and more!!! And WE ARE!!!
Ok I feel guilty being on computer, should be knitting!!
GO QUEENSLAND (but may the best team on the night win!)