Sleeping bags sow hope for women’s refuge & Cambodian poor

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
Inner Wheel’s Coralie Cream and Margaret Pike with Meegan Taylor.
Camera IconInner Wheel’s Coralie Cream and Margaret Pike with Meegan Taylor. Credit: Edward Scown

Coming back home to sleep in your own bed is arguably the best part of a long trip away.

The comfort of your blankets and your pillows is hard to beat.

For many people fleeing dangerous home environments, this is a luxury they don’t have. They often leave with little more than the shirt on their back, and the transient nature of their lives makes it difficult to keep even the most essential items.

Geraldton’s Inner Wheel club has donated 40 sleeping bags to local welfare groups in recent years, in a bid to give the town’s homeless not only a warm night’s rest, but also a small amount of certainty.

“To have something that’s theirs is a big deal,” Inner Wheel president Margaret Pike said.

The sleeping bags are made by WA charity Stitches of Hope, which provides education and training to some of Cambodia’s poorest people.

One of the ways they fund their work is by manufacturing sleeping bags, which are then sold exclusively to other WA charities.

Each sleeping bag costs $50, meaning this week’s donation of six to Chrysalis House Women’s Refuge totalled $300. This seemingly small donation is worth about two weeks wages for a skilled labourer in Cambodia. The money will go a long way in feeding, housing and schooling children, while also providing bedding for locals.

Ms Pike said donating them to other community organisations meant the small amount they could get would go to the neediest.

“I won’t run out of these tomorrow, they’ll go to the people who absolutely need them,” CHWR co-ordinator Meegan Taylor said.

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