Gift wrappers raise funds for education effort

December 9, 2023 BY

Put a bow on it: Ballarat Evening VIEW Club members including Bronwen Butler are wrapping Christmas presents at Stockland Wendouree for a gold coin donation. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

HAVE you ever spotted a group of gift-wrapping women while doing your shopping at Stockland Wendouree?

For three weeks each December, members of local women’s social group and charitable organisation, Ballarat Evening VIEW Club, set up a wrapping station at the shopping centre to raise money for children’s education charity, The Smith Family.

This year, club members are based at the entry to Kmart and are asking for a gold coin donation for each present they wrap, with all proceeds donated to the Learning for Life program.

But club president Janine Baker said their festive initiative is only a small part of their annual activities.

“VIEW, an acronym for voice, interests and education of women, provides a place for women to connect in the community, enjoy social activities, and develop lasting friendships, all while supporting The Smith Family,” she said.

“We’re a friendship club. We value the friendship and interests of women, regularly host social events, and share skills and knowledge.

“So far this year, these have included club birthday celebrations, open gardens, art exhibitions, William Angliss Institute Cookery School in Melbourne, walking, movie and coffee groups, and wine and cheese nights.”

Members have dinner at Ballarat Golf Club on the second Wednesday of each month and meet at 6.30pm to allow for working women to attend. The meetings often include diverse guest speakers and entertainment.

“The more members in our club the more fun we have, and the more money we raise for our students,” Ms Baker said.

The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program aims to offer personal, financial, and educational help to young people.

“Ballarat Evening VIEW Club supports the education of fifteen students, ensuring they have what they need for the school year,” Ms Baker said.

“We need to raise about $10,000 per year, and everything we raise goes directly to them.

“This is crucial, particularly in the current economic climate.”

More women of all ages and backgrounds, particularly young people, are invited to join the club to foster new social connections, and support children, teenagers, and tertiary students in need.

Ballarat Evening VIEW Club’s wrapping initiative is their major fundraiser, and they have also popped up before Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. A fashion parade is set for The Grand in June.

VIEW Clubs are based in lots of communities across Australia. Contact Ms Baker on 0427 855 006 or email [email protected] for more information on the group.