How did we celebrate this Christmas at Bonnie’s?
Christmas Day in a refuge can be very bit different to what our women and their children are used to.
Look at it in this way: suddenly you are not celebrating with your extended family. Instead you are with families that you met just a couple of months ago or even just weeks. Some of those families have different religious beliefs and they might not celebrate it at all. This year, the children won’t celebrate Christmas with Dad and this year, money might be even tighter than ever before.
For us at Bonnies, Christmas is about inclusion and getting everyone together and not leaving anyone behind. This is what we do best.
Before the big day we organised a large amount of donations from other government organisations such as Centrelink Fairfield and non-government organisations too. We can then become Santa!
We spend time in December classifying all the presents according to the families we have in the shelters. We consider their age, gender, how many children there are and especially what we know they like.
Because all of our family worker know very well the families they are working with, this is where the magic happens. Each family worker wraps the presents for her families herself and writes the cards. Our offices are a mountain of gift wrapping paper and our spirits are so high. It’s a very joyful time.
Just before Christmas Day we have a gathering and Santa comes with all the gifts. The children love this: it’s a time they can be just kids with no worries or problems. It’s such a gratifying time for us too: seeing everyone together and happy and supporting each other is invaluable.
Thank you to all our wonderful friends and supporters for helping us make Christmas 2016 so special. Happy New Year to all.
Written by Jackeline