Monday, November 30, 2009

Handmade Treasures and Good Causes

The annual Handmade Treasures Sale is over again ... it was a hot and hectic day, but I think we created a great atmosphere which lived up to the prior advertising as ‘stress free and non-commercial Christmas shopping for good causes – and free morning and afternoon tea included!” The work from all the contributing artists was stunning, and everyone who came commented on the quality of the work.

I was very fortunate to have made contact with the Hunter East Timor Sisters after I saw the movie ”Balibo” and we had beautiful hand woven tais to sell to support an educational scholarship for a young East Timorese woman.

Other money raised goes towards the purchase of a Rotary Shelter Box , temporary accommodation and emergency supplies in a “box” ready to be taken anywhere in the world where people are made homeless by natural disaster. Humanity Coffee and bilums (string bags from Papua New Guinea) were also on sale to supplement the funds for medical equipment at Goroka Hospital (Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea). Tonight, I am proud and happy to say we raised a substantial amount for all three very worthwhile projects . It has taken me hours today to do the bookwork and sort out the money for each artist and the packing up but I love hosting this event every year. Everyone benefits from this sale – the customers , the artists and people worldwide needing support.

Close to home, the outstanding success of last Thursday’s Hunter Homeless Connect Day is still being broadcast.

About 1500 people attended the day and participated in the services available – health checks of all kinds, swine flu vaccinations, birth certificate recovery, financial advice, housing and accommodation advice, haircuts, massages and facials, living skills and creative workshops, and of course our Rotary daily essentials bags- all for free. The 250 bags we provided didn’t really go very far – we needed many more, but the ones we distributed were gratefully received. Congratulations to our friend, Nicola, who was the coordinator for this amazing event – sad it is so needed, but happy we have been able to participate to make life just a tiny bit easier for those doing it tough in tough times.

And next week, I am temporarily going back to work for a couple of days in the Principal's Unit at Callaghan College ...for a rest!

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