A day to give: Geelong Mums fundraiser needs your help

June 10, 2021 BY

Geelong Mums’ Kelly Suvoltos (front right) and some of the organisation’s volunteers outside the Geelong Mums warehouse in South Geelong. Photo: MICHAEL CHAMBERS

GEELONG Mums is urging the community to give generously next week to support babies and children waiting for essential nursery equipment and warm clothing this winter.

The not-for-profit organisation’s Giving Day – one of its biggest fundraisers – will be held on Wednesday, June 16, with all financial donations on the day quadrupled by generous matchers to help vulnerable families.

Geelong Mums passes on the equipment it receives and recycles to agencies such as Maternal and Child Health, Victoria Police and the Department of Human Health and Services, acting as a bridge between those who donate and the parents that need it.

“We’re not social workers, we don’t want to be assessing needs – we just want to make sure we’ve got the material and the goods to make sure a baby is safe and warm, and really quality clothing, and good quality equipment,” Geelong Mums general manager Julia Roache said.

The past 12 months have been incredibly challenging for the families supported by Geelong Mums.

With the decrease and end of some government payments and the impact of lockdowns, the South Geelong-based organisation saw a 31 per cent increase in people asking for support in April and May.

More than 40 per cent of families that have been assisted by Geelong Mums turned to the organisation for support because they had been directly affected by COVID-19.

Their causes of disadvantage include homelessness, unemployment, asylum seekers with no access to government assistance and family violence.

“To the end of May this year has been the second-busiest month that Geelong Mums has ever had since 2013,” Ms Roache said.

“The need is only going to increase now we’ve had another lockdown.

“It’s almost getting frightening in the past two months when we’re looking at our numbers and how large they are.”

Next week’s Giving Day will be the third held by Geelong Mums, and Ms Roache is hopeful of another good result.

“Last year, we were fairly nervous, because we were in the middle of COVID and we’d never experienced anything like this, but we were absolutely blown away by the support of the community,” she said.

“People just reached in their pockets and really supported us, and I think it was because a lot of people in the community weren’t immediately affected financially by COVID but realised so many others were – they saw it tangibly in their next-door neighbours, or their friends who lost their jobs.”

For more information or to donate to Geelong Mums, head to their website.