When women and children come into Bonnie’s they often arrive with little or none of their belongings.
It’s often just a bag with whatever they could grab when they were leaving. In the case of Emma, and her 6 month old twins and 8 year old, they had nothing but the clothes on their backs. While she settled into Bonnie’s she had no time for shopping or hardly any energy to get through the day. She wore the same bra everyday and washed it each night, until we received a big donation of clothes. So many clothes it was just like going shopping! She got herself and the kids all new stuff, a new bra but most importantly some of her confidence back.
I tell this story because as the Finance Officer here at Bonnie’s I want to highlight what a difference the support of our donors makes in the lives of women and children. Each year we get companies, trusts, foundations, local clubs and individuals helping these women get back on their feet. It’s incredible and we are so grateful.
But it’s not just material items like clothes and toiletries that can help fill the gaps, it’s also experiences and excursions we receive funding for, that are crucial to healing for our clients who have left domestic violence.
This last financial year we were able to take women and children on a bunch of fun school holiday activities. Activities included a tree top adventure, animal farm and zoo outings, movies, indoor climbing adventures and a variety of in-house art and craft activities. These activities are so important in providing a safe and nurturing environment where children can express themselves.
Many of these children have witnessed or experienced regular acts of violence and therefore can have greater emotional and behavioural problems than others. On these excursions, our Child and Youth workers can observe kids’ confidence, self-esteem, interpersonal relationship skills and how they operate in a group. If there’s something to be addressed, we can create targeted support plans thereafter.
This is also a great way for women and their kids to bond and heal after domestic violence may have fractured their connection. I highlight this, because as outlined above a lot more happens in this relaxed and fun space than meets the eye!
A small donation can make a world of difference.
Blog by Heike.
Image sourced via CANVA.
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