We all hope in a time of crisis that our loved ones will be there to embrace and support us. Sadly some families just don’t have that option. We received a sad but heartwarming note from one of our financial supporters who chose to remain anonymous recently.
“I know first hand what it is like to be abused, grow up experiencing domestic violence, be poor, no clothes, no food, no home, no car, feeling like I'll never be good enough, feeling like my life will never change. It's the small support I was given by strangers that turned my life around. I've been through a lot myself but I just love helping others. I am living proof that positive change is possible. I want to help others see that they can do whatever they want, and to never give up no matter how hard it might seem”.
The small support given by strangers is what St Kilda Mums is all about. But the remarkable thing about our community is that no one ever feels like a stranger. From our volunteers and staff to our goods and financial donors. And every other person in between that plays a special part in providing safety, opportunity and dignity for children and families in Victoria.
You’re the reason we didn’t have to close our doors for a single day during the pandemic.
The overwhelming requests for support kept coming in. But so did your posted goods, your financial donations, your kind words and your genuine care for the thousands of babies and children who needed us. Thank you so much for continuing to step in and help when families have nowhere else to turn.
Although this year has been incredibly challenging, I’ll look back on it as one of the best as CEO of St Kilda Mums. And it’s all because of you.
Just a reminder that St Kilda Mums is now closed for goods donations and will reopen in the new year.
Please enjoy our last newsletter for 2020. From our St Kilda Mums family to yours, wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Key dates to remember
We are now closed for goods donations at the warehouse until the new year.
Thank you to everyone who dropped off, couriered and posted their donations to us in time for Christmas. We are working hard to get orders out to families across Victoria before 25 December. The best way to support right now is with a financial donation to our Christmas Appeal.
We will reopen for goods donations on 18 January 2021. Please keep updated on our website.
The difference you made in 2020
Since the start of the year, your support enabled us to provide 56,039 items of nursery equipment and children’s clothing, with a second-hand value of $6,458,926 to 18,000 babies and children.
- 10,094 clothing bundles
- 3,757 linen bundles
- 3,636 toy bundles
- 1,838 car seats
- 1,748 prams
- 829 cots
An update from our board
This month we say thank you and farewell to Stacey Barrass who has served on our board for the last five years. Stacey offered an important point of view for our board from the perspective that many of the families we serve share - that of domestic and financial abuse.
In the time that Stacey has been a board director she has overseen the expansion in Vale Street and the move to Clayton, and the number of babies and children we help each year has grown from 3,000 a year to over 20,000 a year.
If you would like to learn more about the special group of volunteers who make up our board and sub committees please read on.
If you're doing okay, please help a family who isn't
That’s the theme of our Christmas appeal, raising the funds we need to help families over the summer months.
Donations help cover the cost of supporting families at our busiest time of year and mean we can purchase extra nursery equipment as orders for vulnerable families continue to flood in the closer we get to Christmas.
Please can we ask you to share the appeal and should you or anyone you know be in search of Christmas gift ideas, we now have a Christmas gift page, which provides you with a lovely opportunity to make a gift in lieu of a present for a loved one.
A message of thanks
“I work for an Aboriginal organisation, who work closely with vulnerable families. Quite often the families turning to us have next to nothing and are facing a number of complex issues such as domestic violence, homelessness, financial distress and mental health issues. As Aboriginal families, they are even more vulnerable in so many ways.
To be able to submit a referral to St Kilda Mums and receive important basic resources a family cannot afford for themselves, is incredible. The joy and happiness this brings to these families is a privilege to be part of. So thank you St Kilda Mums, thank you for the important work you all do for families and children everyday.”
- Social worker
Special business partnerships
From jewellery to organic skincare, everything on offer from our partner Maison Mabé is good for your mind, good for the planet and good for our community. 50% of their profits are donated to charities including St Kilda Mums, so head to their website for a special Christmas present or for a gift for a mum-to-be. You can use the code STKILDA to get 10% off.
Update from the frontline
With the easing of restrictions, our social service team have welcomed many agency partners back to the warehouse. Those who are still working at home have been taking advantage of our courier home delivery service as well as Taxis, Ubers and Shebahs. We are proud to offer new and innovative ways to distribute items meaning that no child goes without.
We recently sent out a survey to social workers asking for their feedback. We were overwhelmed with the response and look forward to implementing some of the great ideas shared. Here is one of the beautiful messages -
“I just wanted to say a massive thanks to everyone at St Kilda Mums for always being willing to have a chat about a family's individual needs. As a support worker, I wish that I could share the heartwarming reactions I see when I provide a family with their special gift. They see how much love and care goes into all the packages and always struggle to find words to express their appreciation. The service truly has an impact on their lives and wellbeing and I'm so grateful for St Kilda Mums and how the service supports me to better support my clients”.
That beautiful feedback is a direct reflection of our generous supporters like you, so thank you so much for everything you do for St Kilda Mums.
Handmade with love
"I received one of the mats from Diane and I just wanted to say thank you so much. My daughter loves the pretty colours and I love that so much time and love went into it. I will treasure it."
Welcoming back corporate volunteers
We are so excited to have welcomed back a couple of corporate volunteer teams. We can host up to 15 people per day and guarantee a fun, busy and meaningful experience along with the opportunity for team members to reconnect . Book in now for 2021! Please see our website for more details.
The impact of your support
“This client has been living with her six year old daughter in a hotel for several months now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has very little support in Melbourne as she arrived in Australia years ago and has no stable accommodation since separating from her partner. She came in contact with us to ensure that her daughter could stay engaged with education as much as possible while they’re experiencing homelessness.
She would have had no other way to access supplies for her baby and is very grateful that she will have the necessary items, especially a pram so that she can continue looking for long term housing. Her daughter was very excited to have the items from St Kilda Mums”
Rose, Education Pathways Facilitator, Launch Housing
St Kilda Mums Baby Safe App
The St Kilda Mums Baby Safe app is now available on both iOS and Android thanks to the generous support of Cooper Investors and Waybu.
The app shares vital safety information to support the safe use of second hand baby products within Australia. You can search, view and make informed decisions when considering buying a used product, or check the status of items you own, ensuring that you keep your precious bundle of joy safe and secure.
The mobile and tablet app contains information about product recalls, contact information for suppliers and distributors of nursery products, shared knowledge of unrecalled products that have common faults, and also voluntary recalls and recommendations.
Many products include their manual or assembly instructions & some include links to how-to-use YouTube videos for prams and carriers.
You can find out more on our website.
Avni's Birthday gift
Avni celebrated her 9th birthday recently. She knew that her mum was interested in volunteering at St Kilda Mums and she saw our list of things that are most needed for babies right now.
Avni decided to request “no boxed gifts” for her birthday party from friends & family. Instead, with the money and vouchers she received she bought 3 cots and mattresses and dropped them off to our warehouse.
Happy birthday Avni and thank you for sharing your celebration with three families whose babies will sleep safely because of you!
Thank you so much for everything you do for St Kilda Mums.