In February we had a guest speaker, Suzie Farley, who is the donor relations officer at Backpacks 4 SA Kids. She shared the important work this not-for-profit organisation does for South Australia. It exists to provide resources that contribute to the care, safety and wellbeing of children and young people during periods of dislocation from home and routine care.
It was at this meeting our club decided to visit and volunteer time at the Backpacks 4 SA Kids warehouse in Para Hills West. So on cold Tuesday night, club members with Rhiannon Pearce MP, met for a tour and a chance to donate supplies & experience packing these very important backpacks.
Suzie delved into the four unique programs; each providing packs filled with items unique to the recipient’s age and situation.
Backpacks 🎒 🧸
For kids who leave home with little notice and often have no clothing or other essentials.
Home Starter Packs 🧹🪣🍳
For families which have left a violent relationship at home and need to start again.
Anchor Packs ⚓️
Designed for young people aged 12-24 who are experiencing homelessness.
Christmas Program 🎁
Providing 0-18 year olds with Christmas presents when entering into emergency care.
The club was shown how donations are received, catalogued, sorted and packed. The organisation likes to accept new or nearly new items, as these kids deserve to have their own fresh possessions. We also learnt not all donations are appropriate, items which have images or themes that express things like a happy home life “Daddy’s little Angel”, can be detrimental to kids emotional state. But no donation is wasted, they work with other charities that anything that is not appropriate for their cause goes to somewhere else in need. The organisation also has ‘Sewers’ on their crew, who stitch together pillows, toiletry bags & pencil cases from donated fabrics – something so simple but another great way to contribute.
At the visit, members learnt what goes into a Backpack, we each selected a special shopping list for a particular gender & age and gathered the items from the already catalogued shelves to be packed. We were encouraged to hug the last item, which was a soft toy or pillow, so it would have a personal element to care pack. The club finalised 12 backpacks, which all will be needed in the following two weeks.
Rotary Club of Modbury Golden Grove was deeply humbled with experience and look forward to more collaborations.
For more information, visit https://backpacks4sakids.org