Geraldton women’s generosity helps underprivileged children
Hundreds of underprivileged Mid West children will be given free everyday essentials their parents cannot afford thanks to the generosity of Geraldton women.
About 200 people attended the seventh annual Variety Ladies’ Luncheon, organised by children’s charity Variety Midwest, in Geraldton earlier this month.
Each woman brought a gift bag of items ranging from toothbrushes and soap to pencils and books.
Last week, the sizeable haul was donated to Centacare Family Services, which will distribute items to families in crisis.
Although they are asked to spend $10, Variety Midwest regional co-ordinator Jan Ajduk said most women spent between $30 and $50.
“You’re looking at over $5000 worth of essential items,” Ms Ajduk said. “Centacare create a pantry, so to speak.
“They look at people’s individual needs and they open the pantry accordingly.”
Ms Ajduk said the need for school essentials alone in Geraldton was huge. “Centacare ran a back to school program this year, and they gave away 750 packs in three days,” she said.
She said the event aimed to raise awareness as much as it did money.
“Women really want to help and make a difference in these kids’ lives, and nine out of 10 times they don’t know how,” she said.
“This is a way for them to know that they’re actually going to make a difference and a direct input to the kids’ lives.”
Centacare Geraldton director Sister Mary Ryan said she was “totally overwhelmed” by the volume of donations, which she described as “a tribute to the Geraldton community”.
“They’re necessities, but food will always come first,” she said.
“How would you even afford this stuff if you can’t afford food?
“There are a lot of people who are finding it tougher than even five years ago, and it’s not because they’re wasting their money.”
Variety chooses a different beneficiary for each year’s event. These have included Parkerville Children’s Home, Geraldton Flexible Learning Centre, and Ngala.
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