Week 7 ~ Uncovering Kindness ~ Roseberry Qld featuring Dignity Hub and the Volunteers.

Welcome to week 7! I’ve noticed that I have a few more blog followers ūüôā Thank you! I have a goal for the end of the year… I’ll keep that to myself incase I fail miserably ūüė¶ If you don’t want to see me fail, follow, follow, follow and share, share, share!

Ok, enough pushing the follow ‘button’! Onto this weeks project angels! I met with Colleen Tribe at Roseberry Qld to have a chat about all the programs that they offer in our community. WOW… there are a lot! Before I get to my Volunteer angels for this week, I’ve decided to give you an overview of the amazing services that are available from Roseberry Qld, as I for one… did not know that half of them even existed! By highlighting this awesome group and the outstanding work that Colleen and her employees do, I am hoping that it may help someone in need of these services or possibly someone out there that can contribute to keeping them ‘alive’ either through volunteering or donations.

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Roseberry Qld ~ “A strong, vibrant, compassionate community”

Roseberry House РGladstone (7 people max. per shelter) РProviding 16-25 year olds with short term accommodation who are homeless and in crisis. Continuing to provide emotional support for the well being of the young people when transitioning to independent living.
Jack’s House Youth Shelter – Rockhampton¬†(7 people max. per shelter)¬†– Providing 16-19 year olds with short term accommodation who are homeless and in crisis. Continuing to provide emotional support for the well being of the young people when transitioning to independent living.
Parents Next – Rockhampton and Gladstone – Working to help parents of young children that are entering employment education and training. This service works with parents, helping them to identify their education and employment goals. Helping them to achieve these goals and linking them to activities and services in the local community.
Branchout –¬†An essential prevention and early intervention responding to young people aged 12-18 years whom are experiencing difficulties. Supporting youth who¬†struggle socially and emotionally.
Reconnect –¬†Assisting young people (12-18yrs) who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Offering support plans, ongoing mentoring, case management, youth development and family support.
Family Support –¬†Providing assistance to anyone experiencing difficulties within their family. Offering mediation support, advocacy and therapeutic and practical support.
Supporting Youth¬†Transition¬†to Independent Living – Rockhampton and Gladstone –¬†Providing support to young people aged 16-25 years who are living independently. Aiming to provide practical support for the emotional well being of the young person.
Emergency Accommodation РAvailable for 6-8 weeks for anyone in housing crisis. Then working with housing officer to find alternate accomodation.
Crisis¬†Accommodation for Young People –¬†Units for eligible young people in crisis for a maximum of 12 weeks. These tenants have meetings with the transition to independent living worker.
Long Term Community Housing – Helping to find long term housing for people that are registered with the department of housing. Currently there are 168 community houses available.
Headspace –¬†Supporting 12-25 year old going through a rough time. An early intervention program for youth with ‘mild’ mental health and wellbeing, general health, work, school and study or alcohol and other drug issues.

After I got the low down on what Roseberry Qld is all about, I asked Col… “What is your motivation to come to work each day and give 100% to people that you don’t even know?”

Colleen Tribe ~¬†“There is no ‘fairytale ending’ and while there are many traumatic situations, the good overcomes the bad. Seeing the difference that our programs make to peoples lives for the better is my motivation. The staff don’t give themselves the credit they deserve, it’s just become second nature to them. We celebrate all milestones with our clients, they deserve it.”¬†

Col also told me about a little girl who visited the office one Christmas with her money that she had saved just to donate. She had saved $250 that she was adamant of giving. Col said that ‘this is inspiring to know that kindness still exists in our children today.’

Finally… moving on to the most recent program that Roseberry QLD has to offer. When I asked Colleen if she had any ‘stand out’ volunteers that deserve a shout out, she said….. “All the volunteers are amazing and stand out, but the volunteers¬†at the ‘Hub’ see people in absolute crisis everyday!’¬†

Roseberry Dignity Hub – Gladstone

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The ‘Hub’ is solely run on the kindness of its volunteers and is open 3 days per week. Monday, Wednesday and Fridays 8am – 2.30pm.

I had the pleasure of meeting 4 (of the 6) amazingly kind volunteers this week. When I walked in, I was greeted by each of them, making me feel so welcome. Fresh muffins (baked at the hub by Kay, a volunteer) on the table ready for anyone who visited. It really feels like a little family, sitting around the kitchen table having a chat while everyone goes about their business and keeping their ‘dignity.’ Washing clothes, drying them. Showering, having a cup of coffee and a bite to eat. Grabbing a pack of take home items before leaving and making room for the next person who is needing to use the same facilities. It was so nice to be there to see the hub in ‘action’.

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The state government funded for the building and construction of this little hub. The ‘set up’ for it was made possible from fundraising, donations and volunteers. The Dignity Hub has been operating for 8 months and provides community members and families experiencing homelessness access to free:

  • Laundry for washing and drying clothing.
  • Bathroom for shower and personal hygiene.
  • Kitchenette for tea, coffee facilities.
  • Access to perishable food items for those experiencing crisis.
  • Information and referrals to other services.
  • Adaptable living program.

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Some weeks the dignity hub could get up to 50 visitors, although it varies and the volunteers are noticing that the people in need are very considerate and do not take advantage of the services. They are finding that many of the Hub’s visitors will generally come on their off pay week to use the facilities. The employees and the volunteers want to make a note to THANK these people in need for being so considerate and only using this service when they really need to. This is one way of making sure that the kindness that comes from within the Hub is shared evenly throughout those who are doing it tough.

The volunteers also cook up meals at the Hub to freeze, so that there is always a meal available in a crisis situation. Bread, fruit and vegetable are donated from Second Bite for the hub to use each week. Sometimes the employees themselves, give up their time to collect the donations and deliver to the Hub. If there is anything left over, it is forwarded onto others in need, making sure that wastage is at an absolute minimum.

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Here are some things that the Volunteers had to say:

Di ~ 1 month (Volunteers 3 days per week) ~ “I like helping people, and to go home after each day at the Hub, knowing that I have made someones day a little less rough, is enough for me. It feels like I have accomplished something.”

Athena ~ 3 weeks (Volunteers 3 days per week) ~¬†¬†“I was placed at the¬†Dignity Hub to complete my certificate in community services. I¬†believe that it is the best place to experience what type of backgrounds and circumstances that I might be working with in the future.”¬†

Kay ~ 1 month (Volunteers 2 days per week) ~¬†I was looking after my Grandchildren a lot but I don’t much anymore so I have free time to give. It is very rewarding to go home knowing that you have helped someone each day.”

Jade ~ 8 months (Volunteers 3 days per week) ~¬†“Spending time in youth shelters myself, growing up and knowing what our Hub visitors are going through can be quite emotional at times. I am a very¬†empathetic person but you find ways to deal with the emotions that you feel for each person who walks through the door. There are good kids and people out¬†there that just find themselves in difficult situations. Knowing first hand how tough these times can be, I wanted to be able to give back somehow and the Dignity Hub is where I feel I can do such a thing. I just want to be able to help people in these difficult situations, give them hope and help them to keep their dignity.”

Jade also has 4 children, volunteers at their football club and is studying for her certificate in community services. 

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Hair Aide ~ Monthly ~¬†2 local hairdressers donate their time every 6 weeks to head over to the hub and offer the visitors a hair cut of their choice. Hayley from Uber Hair and Megan from Cheeky Chops by Megan Miller, what an amazing gesture this is. I am certain that the Hub visitors appreciate the time and services you provide for them. I don’t know about you, but a hair cut makes so much difference to the way you feel. I’d love a good hair cut (If I hadn’t been growing my dreads for 7 years).

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Within the Dignity Hub there is also campaign that runs throughout the year, called ‘Mens Essentials’. This helps the men (who are struggling) in our community who are looking for a job or have an interview to be presentable on these occasions by supplying them with the essentials. Believe it or not, there are a lot of men who are finding times tough and do need help.

The volunteers have given me some hot tips on how our community can help keep the Dignity Hub delivering kindness to whoever needs it:

  • Donations of non¬†perishable food items food.
  • Bread, fruit and veg.
  • Toiletries (including toothpastes, toothbrushes, body wash, soaps,¬†shampoo, conditioners).
  • Toilet paper (one thing that is always low)
  • Milk – Either cartons or tetra packs
  • Tin foods, soups, noodles (some people¬†don’t have a place to ‘cook’ or are still learning how to prepare meals so these items are a godsend for¬†people in that¬†situation.)
  • Ingredients to make meals, muffins or snacks.
  • Washing powders/softeners for the washing facilities available at the hub.
  • Deodorants for men and women.
  • Razors and shaving cream.

If you are in a position to donate any of the above items, please drop them to the Dignity Hub in Rollo Street, Gladstone on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays. The¬†feeling I got from these amazing people was more about getting the word out that they exist and that if any one is struggling and needs a little helping hand through tough times….. please visit the Dignity Hub. The volunteers would love to help in anyway they can. They are there to help and make tough times less ‘tough’.

Each week, I am amazed at how selfless people are with their love and kindness in helping the community! The volunteers mentioned that the amount of support and donations over the Christmas period was outstanding and very humbling to see. If you have (or are willing to obtain) a blue card and are interested in becoming a volunteer and helping out with Roseberry Qld please contact the office to see how you can do so.

Roseberry have a ‘Donate‘ button on their Facebook page if anyone is interested in donating to the whole of Roseberry Qld. Facebook is also where they ‘campaign’ throughout the year if they are needing extra help with anything big that is coming up.

That sums up and outlines the amazing community services and dedicated volunteers that our little town has available for the youth, families and homeless. Thank you Colleen, Sherrie and Chloe for sharing your inspiring words with me and making it possible for me to share the amazing work that Roseberry Qld does.

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To all of the volunteers, whom make each day possible and run smoothly. You are all very special people to continue offering such kindness to those struggling… definitely worth the label of¬†‘DIGNITY ANGELS’ this week. ‚̧

 

~ What defines us is how well we rise after we fall ~

~anonymus~

 

 

Much Love ‚̧
Lisa.

 

 

Just a quick note to my readers… Please, If I have inspired you, even just the teeniest, little bit, tell me! lm.burston@yahoo.com. I want to know how far we are going as a community in delivering a little bit of kindness to the next person. It doesn’t have to be big! Did you smile at someone today? Did they smile back? That is kindness! You were that ‘domino!’ Keep it going ‚̧

 

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Week 6 ~ Uncovering Kindness ~ Gladstone LONERS SMC

Last week, I ended the post with a little spiel on being a ‘domino’. This week I’m going to start with how that same process has helped me to find the next kindness angel! Following on from last weeks story with Father Daniel and his volunteers has lead me to the Gladstone LONERS SMC (and if you are like me… SMC? Social Motorcycle Club). See, domino effect! Keep hitting that next person in a good way ‚̧

They are ‘big and scary’, inked up, loud, ride noisy bikes, have ‘funny’ names and there are a lot of them… but the LONERS are really just in it for the ride ;p Just kidding, this club is so family orientated. You can see how much they love their families and how including them in their social gatherings (and family fun days) is just as important to each and everyone of them as riding their bikes! Oh, and did I mention that raising money for charities is just like second nature to this club ‚̧

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The LONERS first club originated in New Zealand and has now extended into Queensland, Australia! The Gladstone chapter was established in 2013 and has grown each year. Although some of their members have ‘fallen’ over these years, they pay tribute by having their club vests framed with some photos and perfectly hung on the walls of the clubhouse. Gladstone chapter has approx 35 members and guess what, they don’t ALL ride Harley Davidsons ;p Sharing the same ‘values’ in life as each other is a big importance within this club. If you have true values in common, than you are welcome to come along for the ride. Literally!

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Lets move onto how this amazing club and it’s members help out in our community. The LONERS not only provide some security and ‘crowd control’ at the soup kitchen every Wednesday night but they also cooked up an Australia Day breakfast for the church’s people and the volunteers that I talked about last week. They have also cooked breakfast for all the soup kitchen volunteers previously, showing them that their help is appreciated and doesn’t go unnoticed.

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They all had a job to do… Snag turner, toast popper, butter spreader, tomato slicer, table organiser and nothing was too much trouble.

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On Thursday night, I was ‘rollin’ with the big boys at the club house while they had a meeting with a local suicide prevention awareness group called Jaie’s Journey . The LONERS are currently helping and supporting a ‘Ride 4 Life’ Show & Shine event on the¬†25th February and this will become an annual event. Following the Show & Shine, the LONERS club members will be leading the charity ride to Raglan and then into Calliope for music, drinks and food. Just a small statistic on Suicide in Australia (as per 2016). Approximately 7.85 people take their own lives EVERY. SINGLE. DAY! Males being 3 times more likely to commit suicide than females. If you want to get involved in this charity day or the ride itself, please contact one of the links above and they will be able to help you sign up ūüôā Sandra from Jaie’s Journey said¬†“Shane, the LONERS and Side by Side Scaffolding were an amazing source of support for myself and my family and also in setting up Jaie‚Äôs Journey inc.”

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Each year, the club said they do about 20 charity rides, this includes, riding to other towns and supporting with other charity events also. Next weekend they are heading to Gympie, for one of their ‘own’ who has recently lost his leg. The money raised for this ride will help with living expenses and everyday family ‘life’ that has been becoming a struggle, as you could imagine. Next year around the same date the LONERS will ride again and the money from that ride will be donated to someone else in need. Generally, the previous years ‘charity’ will choose where it goes.

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Each time a charity ride is organised, a entry fee of $20 is charged for ANYONE who would like to participate! These rides are not just for members or just for bikes! If you are passionate about the charity that is receiving this awesome kindness, then register your car! Head over to the Facebook page and ‘join’ so you can be aware of any upcoming rides that you might like to participate in ūüôā Each charity ride raises awareness and anywhere from $2000 – $5000. All of the funds raised are donated directly to the chosen charity ‚̧

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I asked some of the members… Why do you donate to charity?

“It’s just what we do”
“It feels really good to be able to help”
“It’s easier to help with numbers”
“Why not?”

That last one got me… “WHY NOT?”

If we are able to do such an amazing thing….. Why don’t we?

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Meet Jayla, aged 9. Jayla is a daughter of one of the club members and she will be cutting her hair for¬†Variety Childrens – Hair with Heart charity. See, generosity is abundant in this ‘family’. Jayla had an original goal of raising $500, that has been reached and she is well on her way to $1000.

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If you are keen to help Jayla get to her second goal, head down to the Harley Davidson shop on the 3rd March and register for the ride at $20 per bike/car. Stands up at 10 and on the road to Bororen – Calliope for lunch – Mt Larcom before returning to the clubhouse for the big chop at 4.30! Come and be a part of Jayla’s Journey as she donates her beautiful hair and the funds raised to the well deserved charity. What an amazing little angel she is. If you can’t make the ride but would like to help her raise the bar a little more, you can do so here¬†

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Jayla ~ “I just want sick kids with no hair, to have hair. I’m going to do it every year”

If you have a bike and it’s looking a little dirty at the moment, head on down to the LONERS clubhouse at 9am on February 24th. Pete from Mean Clean Detailing will have your bike detailed and looking perfect again for $50. This will include paint restoration, clean and shine chrome, polish and wax.¬†These funds raised are also being donated to Jayla’s Journey for the Hair with Heart ‚̧

 

Wrapping up this week… The Gladstone LONERS are not ‘scary’ at all! I want to thank every one of the amazingly generous, family orientated, bike enthusiasts that I met when I visited on Thursday night. Thank you for being my week 6 biker ‘angels’ and making me feel like family ‚̧ I’m looking forward to catching up and seeing what a difference these upcoming charity rides and events have made in our community!

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Shane ~ “The lads don‚Äôt do it for accolades they do it to give back to the community they live in and to mentor people within it, to change one life in their eyes makes it all worthwhile. To be their national president is truly an¬†honour”.

~One Whanau~ 

~One Family~

 

 

 

If you want to ride on in to next week with me… Follow me here ‚̧

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Much Love ‚̧
Lisa!

Week 5 ~ Uncovering Kindness ~ Father Daniel and Volunteers ~ Anglican Parish of Gladstone

Welcome to week 5! I am sure you won’t be disappointed! These ‘Angels’ are nothing short of amazing ‚̧

This week I met with Father Daniel of the Anglican Parish in Gladstone and we chatted about a lots of things but ‘religion’ wasn’t one of them. If I had asked, I am sure he would have told me but I didn’t so we talked about the ‘visions’ he had for the people in the community of Gladstone, who are struggling and what his parish and volunteers have achieved so far. Father Daniel has been here at the Anglican Parish in Gladstone for 8 years. He is passionate about the things the parish and volunteers organise weekly to help children, families, homeless and people in need that are struggling each and everyday. Father Daniel has support from the rectors warden, Kerry. Kerry’s role is to be the priests ‘sounding board’. Kerry has been volunteering for a very long time. There is also a peoples warden, Alan who looks after and supports the ‘people’ of the parish. These people do so much for the less fortunate in our town and I’m about to tell you all about it.

Rays Soup Kitchen is run from the St Saviours Hall every Monday and Wednesday night from 6pm and is open to anyone in need. Father Daniel said that the numbers vary each week but the volunteers and himself cooked for 90+ people at one time. Who would have thought that we have that many homeless/struggling people and families in our town. Father Daniel said that he is so very blessed to have many volunteers along side of him. Some of the volunteers come to cook, some to clean up the dishes and some just like to come and talk to the people in need. The soup kitchen is solely funded by donations from the community and volunteers, they do not receive any funding from the government.

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This amazing kitchen provides for a variety of people each week including the homeless,¬†lonely, the elderly, financially struggling, people battling addictions and domestic violence victims and children. Occasionally, some people who attend the kitchen are really hungry and try to push the line for a meal which isn’t very considerate of others that are also feeling the same. Father Daniel doesn’t want the kitchen to be ‘shut down’ as he has worked so hard for it to be available to the less fortunate in our community. 2 local bike clubs, MACE and the LONERS volunteer¬†security for the¬†soup kitchen on alternate nights, making¬†sure that all the visitors are considerate of each other every week and everyone stays safe, happy and has a full belly.

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On Wednesday night, I visited the soup kitchen with my daughter, Lilli. We sat, ate and chatted to the people. The meals that are cooked are nothing ‘fancy’, but the volunteers said that they make the most out of what they have available. While we were there, the volunteers cooked up a sausage and mushroom casserole dish and served with mashed potato, roasted pumpkin, carrots and bread. Simple, yet amazing for those who are struggling and hungry. I was surprised at the atmosphere that was present in the room and the faces of the people who had just finished a meal (possibly not knowing when they will get another) was priceless. The gratitude was unreal. I watched Father Daniel talk to the visitors making sure they felt comfortable and have had enough to eat. Once the people have finished their meals and the kitchen has closed, left overs are not wasted, they are given to the local farmers for their animals (generally pigs).

I was lucky enough to speak to some of the volunteers when we visited the kitchen, here is what they had to say…

Sau ~ 3 years ~ “This is my¬†journey, I was one of¬†these people; in ‘need’ for 22 years. I¬†came and ate at the soup kitchen¬†regularly¬†and after a while I realised that there was more I could do for the meals that I was receiving. It is now like a home away from home, I am here everyday, I love it. To see the look on the peoples faces when you have helped them, is what its all about.”

Anonymous ~ 2 years~ “6 months after my husband had passed away, I¬†didn’t¬†know what to do with myself as I was always there for him. I came to the soup kitchen to keep myself busy and I just wanted to help. Volunteering just makes me feel so good.”

Tania & Vlad ~ 2 years ~ “I used to help with the homeless, people in need and people battling addictions when I lived elsewhere. Helping the less fortunate is something that I am passionate about. My husband and I sought out a¬†similar cause that we could help with when we moved here and we¬†found the soup kitchen.”

John ~ 6 months ~ “I have been blessed throughout my life and I wanted a way to ‘give back’ somehow. I attend the Anglican Church and I asked father Daniel if I could help in anyway and here I am.”

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The soup kitchen doesn’t just stop ‘here’, Father Daniel offers a community care service to the elderly in our town. A volunteer will deliver a cooked meal to their house if they are struggling, not able to drive, are sick, single or aren’t able to cook for themselves. This service is available twice a week. If you know of any elderly in the community that could do with a little bit of help, please contact the Parish.

If attending the soup kitchen isn’t possible, food and hygiene packs are available for any one in need. “No questions asked.” These packs are available from the St Saviours Hall next to the parish on Auckland street. Please pop down and see Father Daniel for a pantry or hygiene pack to help lighten the load a little. These packs are put together at the hall and are made possible, once again from donations received from our community.

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Father Daniel also organises volunteers each week to visit schools and supply breakfast for the kids that miss out at home. The volunteers cook up a sausage and bread for these little children who’s parents are obviously struggling. The schools that are involved are Clinton, Central, Calliope and Mt Larcom. Just recently, one of the schools have noticed that some children are coming without a packed lunch. Yesterday, Father Daniel told me that he will be organising 20 lunch packs per week to be donated to the children who are missing out.

It may be small and always ‘busy’ but Father Daniel has also started a mens shelter for the men in the community that are struggling. Volunteer Sau is the live in resident and helps Father Daniel out with this amazing service.

I also met a lady named Leanne (another volunteer) who came to the church after loosing everything and enduring a brain aneurysm, almost loosing her life. Leanne not only helps with soup kitchen and office paperwork, she runs the playgroup at the St Saviours hall. For all the ‘Mummys’ out there that need some time out, adult conversation and support without any judgement, Leanne would love to meet you. Playgroup is¬†on a Wednesday morning from 9.30 for a gold coin donation. Leanne said “Sometimes we have so much fun we stay all day.”¬†

Hands up for those of you that think Father Daniel and his amazing volunteers are nothing short of amazing and would like to know how to help lighten the load of all these great services they offer to our community?

  • Cash donations to the designated ‘community’ bank account. You can contact the parish on 49 724754 for details or I can pass them on also.
  • Donations of non¬†perishable food items for food¬†hampers and soup kitchen.
  • Donations of toiletries for the¬†hygiene packs.¬†
  • Vouchers from supermarkets;¬†Woolworths, Coles, Aldi etc. for the soup¬†kitchen supplies.
  • Vouchers to purchase meat for the¬†soup kitchen meals.
  • Clothing donations are welcome and will be passed onto ‘this n that’ shop after 2 weeks if not taken home with people in need.¬†
  • Purchasing of homemade jams, chutneys and spreads that are available for purchase at the hall for $4 per jar.¬†

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If you have a cupboard full of ‘stuff’ that you won’t use and is still in date… now is the time to clean it out and pass it on to those who desperately appreciate it instead of binning it. Or could it be within your budget to purchase a toothbrush or bar of soap next time you are at the supermarket? Every week I type this, and you will probably get sick of hearing it, but ONE person can make a difference ‚̧ Let it be you this week!

Father Daniel and volunteers, thank you for sharing your stories with me this week and being true kindness angels ‚̧

 

‚ÄúYou cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.‚ÄĚ

~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

 

 

Just a little extra note from me:
When I committed to this little project, I wanted to become more aware of what amazing people we have in our town and share them with the ‘world!’. I wanted to make people aware of the things that ‘we’ could do to make an impact on others. If I could be a domino, the very first one in the line up and hit the next ‘domino’ with a little bit of help, love, compassion, kindness, encouragement or even just a little bit of my time then I feel that I have succeeded in a small way ‚̧¬†Every week, so far I have learnt something or met someone that I never knew existed. At the start of my uncovering kindness project I made a promise to myself; I would try to do something that would make a positive impact on each kindness ‘angel’ that I met on this year long journey. Well… look at that, I’ve now promised it to the ‘world’ of blog followers as well. I have received messages from others in the community about how these blog posts have inspired them to do something ¬†small for these angels as well. Please, if I have inspired YOU to do something, no matter how small it is, I want to know! Be my next DOMINO!

Much Love ‚̧
Lisa

 

 

 

 

Week 4 ~ Uncovering Kindness ~ Jodi Jones – Gladstone & District Wildlife Carers

What a week! Busy busy busy, but I managed to meet up with an awesome lady that dedicates her days to responding to emergency call outs for sick, injured or orphaned wildlife and nursing these animals back to health.

When I met Jodi, she was dropper feeding 4 teeny tiny Native Bush Rats that were only days old! These 4 little guys hadn’t even opened their eyes yet and needed to be fed every hour by a syringe. Jodi said that they get a fair few native rodents in to care. After seeing her feed these tiny orphaned rats, the first word that popped into my head was DEDICATION.

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Jodi grew up on a property and has been surrounded by animals since she was little. The day that her dad brought home baby Emus (the dad Emu was hit by a car) was the day that Jodi’s purpose in life was found; caring for those who are helpless and can’t defend themselves. Jodi specialises in Raptors (birds of prey) and her favourite animal is the Yellow Belly Glider ‚̧

Jodi is the training and education coordinator of Gladstone & District Wildlife Carers Association Inc. This group of carers are dedicated to caring for our local wildlife here in Gladstone and surrounds. The Association was established in 1991 and has had many, many carers over the years. The current group of carers have hundreds of years experience caring for native wildlife animals. The care for these animals is generally at the cost of the volunteer carers. There are also independent wildlife carers in our region who the group keep in touch with. This ensures that the sick, injured and orphaned animals are given the best care possible.

Jodi has been caring for animals with the Gladstone Wildlife Association for over 11 years and loves being able to give all creatures great and small a second chance. When an sick, injured or orphaned native animal is found by a member of the community they should call 0427106803. This number is answered by a member of the association and a message is sent out to all available carers, who then respond to the emergency. This phone number can receive anywhere between 1000 – 1500 calls per year. If the animal is needing emergency care, Jodi is the first place the animal will go. There are 3 parts of the injured animals ‘journey’¬†Emergency – Rehabilitation – Release.

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The first thing Jodi does when an emergency case comes in, is ask herself, “can I release this animal?”¬†If Jodi is confident that the animal is capable of making a full recovery and can be released back into the wild, then action is taken to place them in the hands of the most experienced carer. This process ensures the animal is given the best chance of being released.

The most predominant species of wildlife that requires care from the group are rainbow lorikeets. Jodi said that approx 80% of their cases are birds. Many of them fly into windows and doors resulting in concussion and head injuries. They also get a fair few baby magpies, cockatoos and galahs as “people find them on the ground and think that their mother has left them, but in actual fact the parents are generally close by and the babies are just learning skills for when they leave the nest.”

To ensure that the group of wildlife carers have had the right training and experience, Jodi tries to organise as many specialised training workshops as possible to educate and update the volunteers who are caring for these animals. These animal specialist visits are sometimes lucky enough to be sponsored by local businesses. In the past, the local Ports Corporation have made a few of these days possible for our wildlife carers. The group is greatly appreciative of such a generous donation when it is offered, otherwise the cost is left up to the carers. A lot of the carers have been specially trained in seabirds, raptors, echidnas, gliders (we have 5 species in the Gladstone region), possums and reptiles to ensure that they can care for almost any scenario that arrives in care.

Once the animal has been rehabilitated and ready for the long awaited release, the carer researches a potential habitat so that they know it will be resilient and able to accomodate the new ‘occupant’. Jodi said that “releasing an animal back to where they belong is the best feeling.”

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When Jodi isn’t spending her days responding to emergency calls, temporarily homing animals with other amazing carers or feeding the animals she currently has in her care, she can be found monitoring the turtle nestings on Lillies Beach and attending to stranded marine animals (generally turtles). If there is a call for a stranded turtle (generally deceased) Jodi will take notes and report to the marine co-ordinators in the hope that we can make changes and have fewer of these unfortunate cases. If the marine animal has a chance of being saved, it will go into care.¬†We have 2 turtle hospitals in our region, one being on Quoin Island and the other is located at the Gladstone Area Water Board.¬†1300animal and the marine stranding co-ordinators will decide which hospital the animal will be transferred to.

If you still can’t find Jodi, check the local schools and community groups where you will find her giving talks about how ‘we’ as a community can make our own home and backyard more wildlife friendly. She is absolutely passionate about our habitats and the small changes that can be made in¬†the hope that there will be less sick and injured animals needing care. Jodi has been attending schools and taking in wildlife to share with the children for over 10 years and will continue to do so in the future.

A couple of babies that Jodi is currently caring for are:

Benji ~ Eastern Grey Kangaroo ~ 7 months old 
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Benji was found on a street in Tannum Sands as an orphan and he will spend approximately 12 months in care. Benji is fed special formula designed for kangaroos. 2kg of his milk costs $40 and should last a month. During Benjis time with a carer, an estimated $1200 will be spent before he is finally released back into the wild. This will most likely be at the cost of his volunteer carer.

“Little miss bites a lot” ~ Brush tail Possum ~ 5 months old

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This little cutie was found in a garden hedge as she was caught with the hedge trimmer. Thankfully her accident wasn’t tragic and she is looking to be released once she has recovered.

Now, onto the part where I tell ‘you’ all about how we can pass on a little bit of kindness to these wildlife animals that need a helping hand. Without wildlife, the Earth will suffer! Without volunteer carers, our wildlife will suffer! Just think about that for a little bit and if you have a soft spot for all animals or just really love to help where possible, below are some ways you can do so:

  • Cash donation to the nominated bank¬†account (Contact¬†Jodi).
  • Pouches from recycled clothing.
  • Bird cages and fishtanks.
  • Sheets, towels and pillowcases.
  • Talk to Jodi about making your own backyard more wildlife friendly.¬†One little change IS enough ‚̧

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That wraps up week 4 and I hope that you can appreciate our wildlife and the environment a little more. I think that sometimes we forget that those little pockets of ‘bush’ we have left in our town are potentially the home for hundreds of species of wildlife. Be considerate and if you find an animal in need, contact¬†Gladstone & District Wildlife Carers.

Thank you Jodi and the many volunteer carers for being true wildlife warriors and this weeks Wildlife Angels ‚̧

 

“It takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal.”

~Unknown~

 

Much Love ‚̧
Lisa

 

 

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Week 3 ~ 52 Weeks of Uncovering Kindness ~ Gladstone Basketball – Kelly McEachran.

Welcome back! Week 3 already?

Recently I received a message about a lady named Kelly. I was told that she volunteers and helps out at the Gladstone Basketball Association. When I met with Kelly, one of the first things she said was… “I’m not sure whether I am worthy enough to be included in your Project 52?”

My reply was, “Why!? Someone in the community believes that you help others and that you donate your time to making another’s life better.” (That is who I set out to find and uncover when I decided to go ahead with Project 52.) ¬†“I believe that you are perfect for the job.” She still wasn’t convinced ;p But here we are, giving her a shout out for her generosity, no matter how little it may feel. A little bit of appreciation goes a long way.

Kelly has been playing basketball for a few years (since she was 19) and said that when a volunteer position became available she put her hand up straight away as she loves to help out. She has now been volunteering for just over 18 months. Originally volunteering to ‘just’ organise the draws, Kelly now finds herself helping out wherever she is needed. Kelly also volunteers her time on the Gladstone Basketball Association committee which she finds just as rewarding.

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Kelly spends about 15 hours each week organising the draws for 24 structured competition teams including womens games on Mondays, divisions 1 & 2 men on a Tuesday and men’s premier league on a Wednesday. Once the draw is decided,¬†a coordinator organises referees for the games and then Kelly allocates other teams to do duty (score). ¬†On competition nights, Kelly prepares scoreboards for the games that are scheduled, collects court fees and ensures things run as smoothly as possible throughout the night. Kelly mentioned that she also receives help from other volunteers with these tasks on game nights.

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Kelly also dedicates some of this time to organising mixed ‘scrimmage’ matches, which are social games for¬†seniors and new players, who potentially want to transition into competition level. These practice matches are held on Tuesday nights (in the off season) and Sundays from 3pm (all year). Kelly, not only organises these teams on the spot as the players show up but is a super keen participant in these scrimmage matches. I could see how excited she gets being able to play and be involved in something she organises. I stayed to watch half of a ‘scrimmage’ game. It looked like a heap of fun and accommodating for all levels; no stress games with lots of fun and fitness.¬†Kelly is always scouting for new players whether they are wanting to try it just for fun or to join a competition team! So if you have ever wondered about basketball… now is the time to dive in and have a crack at it. Competition starts next week!

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As the basketball season is split into 2, there are also 2 grand final days per year in which Kelly is trying her very hardest to get the whole community involved and making these grand final days like they used to be; fun, exciting, family friendly with lots of pre/post and intermission entertainment to keep the crowd involved and having a great time. She is hoping that the word gets out about bringing back ‘old school’ grand final days and that the community come down to have a bit of fun and see what Gladstone Basketball is all about. If you think that you are able to help out with making these days a success, let Kelly know! She’d love to get more activities and entertainment happening.

Kelly and the Gladstone Basketball Association are super excited to have been granted some much needed funds to renovate the outside fixture which will make the court more player friendly. They are currently sourcing the equipment and labour for this to happen and they can’t wait to play their first game on the new and improved court!

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Below are some statements made by the people that think Kelly is totally deserving of a little ‘thanks’ for the hard work she puts in, to make this local sporting club an enjoyable place to play for everyone.

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Hannah:¬†“Kelly has spent huge amount of hours at the stadium volunteering her time to make Gladstone Senior Basketball the best it can be. It has been a long journey for Kelly but she has made the environment into a family based community. She has increased the support and numbers into the competition. Kelly also ensures that everyone competing is happy in their surroundings. Kelly has made our old school basketball grand final days make a huge return and we celebrate this day as a club now and not separately. She also dedicates much time to the Power Season and the Junior Basketball as well. She is a remarkable women.”

Nikita:¬†“Kelly always has a smile on her face which makes coming to basketball a pleasure. She goes above and beyond for Gladstone basketball and it‚Äôs players. She is organised, efficient and has a positive attitude as well as working hard to increase the community evolvement and success of basketball. Not only this, but Kelly has a full time job and 3 kids that she juggles. Kelly deserves all the acknowledgement in the world for her hard work.”

Peta:¬†“Kelly‚Äôs passion and dedication has made Gladstone basketball a great place to be. She is always happy to throw her hand up to help, making competitions run smoother and games happen weekly. Her smiling face and happy attitude really makes you want to continue turning up every week.”

Wrapping up this weeks uncovering kindness blog… Kelly McEachran, I definitely think you should have done ‘this’. It was lovely to meet your smiling face and learn about one of the sporting communities that we have here in Gladstone. Thank you for being my week 3 – Hoop shooting angel’ ‚̧

 

“Good players inspire themselves, great players inspire others”

~Unknown~

 

Much Love ‚̧
Lisa!

 

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Week 2 ~ 52 Weeks of Uncovering Kindness ~ Local Gladstone Family

Welcome to week 2 ‚̧ I hope that you are still as excited as I am about this little project. This week, my own family went on an adventure to meet our ‘kindness’ family and we’d like to take you with us! We packed up and headed over to one of ‘our’ local islands where we caught up with this awesome family!

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This week was more about bringing awareness to our environment and what is happening to it and how we, as a community can help stop some of this happening. I don’t know about you, but I would like my daughter and the children of today to be more mindful of the place we live. It is a beautiful city and it would be such a shame not to keep it clean. This little gesture not only impacts our community but possibly all over the world.

Rubbish, it is EVERYWHERE but plastic is our biggest killer, our oceans are consuming more and more plastic each and everyday. It covers our beaches, parks, gutters, drains, streets and possibly even your own back yard. Gladstone is known as a ‘Harbour City’ and I am sure that we could make it even more beautiful if we keep it clean from rubbish.

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They have a house at South End and visit often. A¬†big part of their ‘time out’ visiting the island is dedicated to collecting the rubbish that is so abundantly scattered throughout the beaches. These guys (kids & dog included) are passionate about what is left on our beaches and what washes up from out at sea. The rubbish comes from ‘us’ leaving it there, big ships, recreational boats, or possibly washing in from other places. This amazing family try their hardest whenever possible, to collect as much rubbish as they can cram into whatever trailer or buckets they have at the time. They generally use their quad bike with a proper trailer. (Currently they are sourcing some new tyres as these ones have finally given out).

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Just look at all the plastic pieces laying in one little spot, potentially all making its way into the ocean and our sea-life.

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Rubbish

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We spent half a day with this family and not only did it actually shock me with the amount of rubbish that was laying on the beach, but bottle tops! There were so many lids and only half the bottles, which makes you wonder… where are all these bottles? Still in our ocean being ingested by our marine life, possibly killing these animals or has the plastic broken into smaller pieces and eventually become part of OUR food chain?

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When talking to Carly, I could see how this has really taken hold of her! Not only do they clean up the rubbish on South End but wherever they visit, including our local parks, Wild Cattle creek, Canoe point and Spinnaker. Its become second nature to them, so when walking the dog, riding bikes and going on bush walks, looking for rubbish to remove from our environment is always on the radar.

Carly quoted this statement and it makes perfect sense;¬†‘We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children’ – Native American proverb.¬†Those words have stuck with her and this is the whole reason they started collecting rubbish.

Carly ~ “The earth can not sustain itself at the rate us humans are destroying it. We want to teach our children that one persons tiny action has a ripple effect. If we as a family can collect rubbish from our local beaches and encourage others to do so, then we are achieving what we set out to do! Collecting shells from beaches is outdated – it’s time to start collecting rubbish instead. Sometimes there is so much rubbish that it overwhelmes us. The kids get sad and say that we will never be able to collect it all – which it true. But we try our best. Many hands make light work”.DSC_9874 copy

Kaya ~ “It’s very¬†frustrating finding so much rubbish washing up on our beaches. It’s actually quite therapeutic walking along the beach and seeing what we can collect along the way, knowing that we are helping, I feel that its the least we can do”DSC_9945

Leif (6.5 years old) ~¬†“I started picking up rubbish because my Mummy does but I also watched a movie called The Plastic Ocean”¬†If you’d like to see the inspiration for Leif’s kindness, you can watch a snippet¬†here¬†¬†(Note; This image is from Google images)APO_1Sheet_small

Layla (5 years old) ~ “I help pick up the rubbish¬†so it doesn’t go into the ocean and kill the sea turtles”¬†South End is were our turtles nest.Turtles

Jude (3 years old) ~¬†” Here Mum, I gots a piece of plaskit” (I lost count on the amount of times Jude said this).DSC_9877 copy

I know that this is a world wide problem but imagine if each time you visited our local beach or park, went for a walk or bike ride or mowed your footpath, you took the time to pick up the rubbish you see along the way?DSC_9888 copy

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A HELL OF A LOT!!! There are approx. 63,000 residents in our regional community. Imagine that, if everyone picked up ONE piece of rubbish each day. That is almost a whopping 23 MILLION pieces off our streets, parks, beaches and oceans in one year. Just have a think about it. ‚̧

So, I want to challenge ‘us’, the Gladstone community for this year. Pick a weekend for you and your family to head out to the ocean, a beach, park or street and collect as much rubbish as you can and once you’re done, send me a photo!!! Email me at lm.burston@yahoo.com with a picture of your ‘collection’ and how good it felt helping our environment and our community and possibly even being a part in making a world wide ‘shift’! I know there are many more of you in our community that have already been part of this ‘change’. I want to hear from you too, I want to hear your story!

If you can’t possibly pick up a piece of rubbish each day, then lets stop using so much! There are other things that you could do to help lessen the problem such as:

  • Minimising the single use plastics in your life, like¬†plastic¬†bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soft drink and water bottles and most food packaging.
  • Invest in a good quality water bottle that can be refilled instead of purchasing plastic water bottles.
  • Taking enviro bags (you know we all have hundreds stuffed in the back of the cupboard) to the shop to carry your purchases in.
  • Packing your lunch in a reusable container, not takeaway plastics or clip-seal bags.
  • ‘NUDE’ foods for school lunches instead of cling wraps.

I am sure there are a lot more little things that can be done but these are the ones that have stood out to me. Even if we commit to one of these changes, then we have made a difference! I have attached a couple of interesting links if anyone is still reading and this has hit home about the future of our next generations.

#take3forthesea РStarted right here in our country, an initiative program to clean up our oceans.
Tangaroa Blue РAlso an Australian initiative program with lots of information.

One more to really show you how close to home this is… ¬†BLUE¬†– filmed right here in OUR oceans!

Below is what we achieved in 2 hours, approx. 300 meters of beach and 8 sets of hands, 5 of which were children under the age of 9! IMAGINE how much of an impact us 63,000 people would have if we work together!?

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At the end of the year in a ‘What have we achieved blog’ I will collate all of the images that I receive and we can see for ourselves that “One piece really does make a difference!!” Lets keep Gladstone clean ‚̧

I want to thank these ‘Ocean clean up angels’ for showing us how much we can do as a community to make our town a cleaner place and showing us the potential impact our little bit of kindness will have elsewhere. Be part of the change! Be part of the ‘ripple’ ‚̧

 

“ALL DRAINS LEAD TO THE OCEAN KID”

 ~Gill РNemo, 2003~

 

Much Love
Lisa ‚̧

 

 

 

 

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Week 1 ~ 52 Weeks of Uncovering Kindness ~ Gladstone Angel Babies

Well, hello!! Welcome to the 1st week of Uncovering Kindness ‚̧ Thank you for joining me!

Today I met with a beautiful lady who is the ‘threads’ behind¬†“Gladstone Angel Babies”¬†– Judith Crabtree. The reason behind why she does this… ”Compassion for grieving parents’. This lady has been sewing for over 40 years; these days you will find her behind the sewing machine under a wedding gown in her humble sewing studio at her home.

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This is where she creates unique hand made gowns for tiny humans that are born sleeping or babies that pass a little later. ‘Angel babies‘ that are too good for this world.

Judith explained it as, “Providing bereavement packages for families that have lost an infant. Ranging from 18 weeks gestation and born sleeping, right through to babies that are 12 months of age when they pass”. The gowns that she creates are made possible from wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses and formal wear that are kindly donated to her through the year.

This dress was donated from a anonymous lady ‚̧ Judith was so excited with the work and details in this one and can’t wait to make it into many angel gowns.

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First things first… An image is taken of the donated dress, details are taken from the kind person who has passed the dress on. The dress is given a number and it is placed into an album/diary.26771615_10208930776501223_82488548_o

Before the gown is started, the pearls, sequins, lace and embellishments are hand picked off the dress, then it is carefully cut, pressed and destined for the sewing machine. Then the details are sewn back on to the gown. Once the gowns are complete, photos are taken and sent to the original owner of the dress to show them what amazing gowns have been produced from their donation.

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Over the past 3 and a half years that Judith has been creating these precious gifts, she has made 700+ Cocoons/Wraps that are dedicated to babies born up until 22wks gestation and 1500+ gowns from 22wks through to 34wks, including the gowns that are available for babies that have lived on Earth and have gained their angel wings a little later. Each gown takes approx. 2-3 hours to complete. Some a little more, some less, depending on the details. When talking to Judith, I could tell that every hour she has spent making these gifts has been a pleasure. To be able to provide these gowns and keepsakes to grieving parents is priceless.

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When the gowns, cocoons and wraps are ready to leave the sewing room, they are paired with a blanket, bonnet, nappy, booties, keepsake ribbon and packaged into a clip seal satchel (this is the biggest job in Judith’s life right now; matching and assembling these little packages) so that they can be distributed to Valley Funerals and the Gladstone Mater and the Gladstone Base hospitals. Not only are they available for FREE in our town but also provided to Hervey Bay hospital and J. Kirk funerals. Some of Gladstone Angel Babies creations have also been shipped to the USA. The Original design of these gowns was created by Judith. This unique pattern is also being used in Canada, USA and the UK. Judith is proud to be able to share¬†such a beautiful gift to angel babies from around the world.

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Gladstone Angel Babies latest gowns have been designed especially for indigenous babies, using authentic fabrics which were donated from Alice Springs. There will be a set of each size gown packs placed here at Gladstone Base Hospital and the Mater Hospital. A large selection of these Indigenous packs are being sent to the Torres Strait for their use as well. The indigenous packs are just awaiting matching booties, bonnets etc. before they will be sent on to their forever babies.

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One of the first things that Judith said to me was “I have some amazing people that help me”.¬†This made me smile and appreciate the work she puts in even more. She is so grateful for the help that she receives including dress donations, fabrics (which are currently at capacity), materials and ribbons. A lovely lady couriers items from Boyne/Tannum area to town when needed. Judith also said she is pretty certain that she has found a courier that is willing to help transport her gowns and donations from Sydney to Gladstone and towns in-between at no cost. The keepsake ribbons, knitted bonnets and booties are handmade by other generous ladies, which are then added to the packages. There have also been others who have helped in various ways in the past. For example, photographers donating time to take images of completed gowns and Gladstone Bridal Shop generously donating 50 wedding gowns.¬†The heartfelt donations from the community ¬†have made all the work a little easier each week for Judith.

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If this blog post about a local ‘Angel’ creating something special for our real angels, has pulled at your heart strings and you would like to know how you can help.

Here it is:

  • Donating wedding, bridesmaids or formal dresses and gowns.¬†
  • Purchasing vouchers from Lincraft or Spotlight.
  • Donating plain pastel shades of new¬†flannelette (used for the blankets and nappies).
  • Cash donation to the nominated bank account.

When items run low and material donations aren’t available, the funds to buy these supplies come from the designated account that has been set up for anyone generous enough to make a donation. Whether the donation be big or small every dollar helps to alleviate the financial pressure of running a local charity. If you are wanting to do just that, please feel free to contact¬†Gladstone Angel Babies¬†for details on how to do so.

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But most of all… Judith’s words were¬†“I want everyone to know we¬†exist! That these packages we provide are here for all angel babies and their¬†families. They are FREE”

So please, if you know someone that may need this kindness throughout a tough time in their lives spread the word ‚̧

 

“Because of you, I believe in Angels”

~unknown~

 

 

Much Love ‚̧
Lisa!

 

 

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