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 Geelong 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 kept our doors open most days 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.
We also know that heading into 2021 we will be busier than ever, supporting those families who have been hardest hit by COVID-19, including many who have never had to look to others for help before.
Although this year has been incredibly challenging, I’ll look back on it as one of the best as General Manager of Geelong Mums. And it’s all because of you.
Please enjoy our last newsletter for 2020. From our Geelong Mums family to yours, wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Key dates to remember
We are no longer accepting goods donations at our warehouse.
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.
Our warehouse will reopen for donations on Monday 18 January. Please book an appointment here or keep an eye on our social media channels for more information.
The difference you made in 2020
In 2020, your support enabled us to provide 15,105 items of nursery equipment and children’s clothing, with a second-hand value of $1,679,313 to 5,366 babies and children.
- 2,006 clothing bundles
- 958 linen bundles
- 845 toy and book bundles
- 278 car seats
- 241 prams
Earlier in November we completed the largest request we’ve ever filled! A van chock-a-block full of essential items. Your support makes all of this possible for families experiencing hardship.
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 someone 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.
We are so grateful to Cotton On Kids and Cotton On Foundation for their recent $50,000 donation to help us alleviate financial burdens on families in the Geelong regions, especially as we navigate what the world will look like in 2021.
Through amazing customer support and sales of Cotton On Kids and Cotton On Foundation masks, they shared the love and a portion of these proceeds to help Geelong Mums and local families who need it most.
Cotton On Kids General Manager, Lisa Rogers said, “Giving feels good! It’s an all-year round thing for us at Cotton On Kids, and we’re thrilled to continue our relationship with Geelong Mums, because no child should go without. Throughout the year we’ve sent over 300 boxes of product and sample stock to this deserving charity and it’s exciting to round out the year by making even more of a difference. Helping local communities has never been more important than in 2020”.
Thank you Cotton On for everything you do to help us support thousands of families every year.
Our community at work
We would also like to say a huge thank you to the following groups and businesses who donated to our Christmas appeal, collected gifts from their staff and clients or organised a donation drive for us in the last few weeks. We simply couldn't do what we do without this ongoing support and it means the world to us.
- Access Your Supports
- Arthur St Digital
- Coles - Ocean Grove, Corio, Belmont, Leopold, Drysdale, Geelong, Waurn Ponds, Torquay
- Corio Village Shopping Centre
- Cotton On Head Office and Avalon Distribution Centre
- Country Women's Association Surf Coast Branch
- Good Life Gym Belmont
- Fyans Park Primary School
- Kardinia International College
- Kilgour Cafe
- McGrath Real Estate
- Miann & Co
- ProFinish Coatings
- Rotary Club of Geelong West
- St Michael’s Parish Bell Park
- Surfcoast Secondary College
- Western Skin Institute
- Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre
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 the number of babies and children we help each year across our three branches has grown from 3,000 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.
The impact of your support
“Geelong Mums to me is far more than just the material aid. The staff check in with workers with a genuine regard for the work we do in the field. Visiting the warehouse is always a great experience - the staff and volunteers have a positive attitude and an eagerness to assist. Geelong Mums plays a vital role within the community services sector in Geelong. It’s so important that this service is not only maintained but continues to grow and prosper to meet the ongoing needs of local families.”
Senior Family Services Worker
Bethany Community Support