I believe... that the joy of Christmas is in the sharing... and the giving...
I'm incredibly fortunate to have been born in this lucky country, in a wonderfully loving family. So ever since I can remember giving to others has been a part of the Christmas spirit. Giving can happen on many forms... donations... volunteering time... or shining a light on areas that are sometimes hidden.
I believe... that your environment plays a huge role in how you feel... and everyone deserves a beautiful place that nurtures their soul.
It's no secret that I have a special place in my heart for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) and they amazing work that they do for some of the most vulnerable in our community. My hope is that the conversation around asylum seekers in Australia changes to a more compassionate one. I've been a volunteer at the ASRC for almost five years and this year I had the privilege to donate my time and design services to help them with the interiors for their new Home of Hope.
If you feel as passionately as I do about helping those seeking asylum here in Australia, and making sure that millions of people around the world have a support network, take a look at some of the ways both directly and indirectly you can help. This is my Christmas wish.
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre - Christmas Appeal
I have seen first hand the incredible work that the ASRC do, and I am so proud to be a part of this community of compassion. A donation to their Christmas appeal goes directly to providing services to support asylum seekers: legal appointments, housing, health care, employment services, English language classes, food and advocacy. Your support is instrumental in helping them to focus on the heart of the issue: people who are fleeing harm and persecution.
"Every donation helps ease poverty and hunger, but also provides an untold amount of hope."
Donate to the ASRC Christmas Appeal here.
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre - Donate goods
As well as providing vital services like legal, medical, casework and education & training, the ASRC also provides vital material aid to asylum seekers. Over half of their clients have no income and nearly 90% live below the poverty line. The ASRC provides essential items like bedding, nappies, phone cards. Asylum seeker members can also visit their foodbank once a week. The ASRC's "supermarket model" preserves the dignity of their members, allowing them to select their own items within set criteria, without the need to be allocated a food parcel. So perhaps next time you go shopping add a little something extra in your trolley.
Find out what goods you can donate to the ASRC here.
And because it’s Christmas they are doing something special. The material aid team would love donations of department store cards (like Kmart or Target)… $10.00 international phone cards with good calling rates to places like the Middle East, Africa, Sri Lanka or Pakistan… and movie tickets so parents can take their children to see a film over Christmas. If you have any other questions about donations you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find volunteer opportunities on their website.
It started with some folded paper, instagram... and above all hope. You see, I have a hope in my heart for those brave men, women and children who are forced to flee their homelands under threat of persecution and violence... whose hope is a better life for themselves and their families. Asylum seekers... just like me... who could be me if I were not born in this lucky country... I would hope for the same.
My hope is to share the humanity... and do my small part to change the conversation...
#thepaperboatsproject is a set of my instagram images featuring the fragile but resilient paper boat, and my thoughts of hope for those seeking asylum. I have transformed these images into prints and inspirations cards. You can purchase them here through my online store.
All money raised from my #thepaperboatsproject prints and inspiration cards will be donated to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
My Bearded Pigeon - Let.Them. Stay
I first discovered My Bearded Pigeon on Etsy many years ago when I was looking for cushions. Cath makes the most beautiful range of ethically produced, environmentally friendly home decor. What I found was her "Let.Them.Stay - Asylum Seekers Welcome Here" cushion, which I immediately bought. Not only was it beautiful... it held an important message that spoke to me. My Bearded Pigeon recently added to the range with pennant and shopping bag... AND they generously donate $10.00 from every cushion sale and $5.00 from every banner and shopping bag to the ASRC.
SisterWorks is a community NGO whose dream is to empower asylum seeker, refugee and migrant women all over Melbourne through employment, education & social enterprise. Many women who seek asylum in Australia are among the most disadvantaged in our community. They are often illiterate in their own language, with very little (if any) English. SisterWorks have a crowd funding campaign to raise $50,000 to sustain their work. If you would like to contribute to their crowd funding campaign you will find it here.
Food insecurity is sadly an issue for many in our society. SecondBite i a wonderful organisation that redistributes surplus fresh food to community food programs around Australia. Food is donated by farmers, wholesalers, markets, supermarkets, caterers and events. Some of the programs they provide to support people who are homeless, women and families in crisis, youth at risk, indigenous communities, asylum seekers and new arrivals.
Find out how you can help here.
I believe... that giving comes from the heart... and it's important to find a cause that speaks to you.
If you have been wanting to support a great cause as part of your routine, but haven't quite found the right one, or it always seems so hard to make time, the Shout for Good app is a great place to start. in their own words "Shout is a company founded by people who want to change the world by integrating new trends in technology with the potential for people to give to great causes as part of their everyday life".
I believe... one person can make a difference! Happy International Human Rights Day & Merry Christmas! xx
I'd love for your to share with me who you like to support during the festive season. x