A thank you to our community, from WAGEC.

By WAGEC

Published on April 15, 2020

A thank you to our community, from WAGEC.

We love our community and we have always been proud to stand with the people who support WAGEC. In the last few weeks, as we continue to grapple with and adjust to these strange times, we have seen how strong and connected the WAGEC community really is.  

As many of you reading this will be aware, the COVID-19 crisis puts women and children at even more risk of domestic and family violence and homelessness. Whether they are isolated in an already-abusive home or lack support to address the additional stressors in our environment (take a look at this interview with WAGEC CEO Helen Silvia by our friends at Primer), this Covid crisis means that we as an organisation need more support than ever. 

It is for this reason that we want to say thank you. What we want to share here is the abundance of warm-heartedness that we’ve received. If you’re feeling like you need something uplifting today, keep reading. We hope these acts of warmth and generosity serve as a reminder of the strength that comes with embodying what it means to be “in it together,” what it means to be a community.  

 “What more can we do to help right now?”  

“I’ve been thinking of you lots.” 

“Let me know how I can help.” 

“Every time I walk by I wonder how WAGEC is doing.”  

“What do you need the most right now?”  

These are some of the warm and generous words we have heard recently.   

And these aren’t just words – the compassion and concern we’ve heard over the phone and in emails comes to life in the creative ways that people have gone about collaborating and connecting in support of WAGEC.  

Dance 4 Difference, held by the Little Care Packs community, virtually brought families together to have a dance while raising money to support women and children at risk. A few of us from WAGEC got to go along for a virtual dance, including CEO Helen Silvia:  “I loved that the event was really focused on a family friendly celebration and gave kids this awesome opportunity to connect and have a home dance party with 100 other families in iso! The dance moves and looks on their faces said it all!” In addition to raising funds for Oz Harvest, another fantastic organisation, Jodie and the Little Care Packs team raised over $3,000 to support WAGEC.  

Amanda and Annabel – a duo that met on Twitter – are running Care for a Coffee, an initiative that encourages friends to catch up over a virtual coffee online, with 100% of proceeds going to WAGEC. Community, Amanda says, “is a group of people working on a mission that is bigger than any one person could tackle on their own.” In her humble words, she’s “just helping connect needs, amazing women, and wanting to help!” 

We have The Mums Grocery Giving Circle who have raised over $10,000 so far to purchase groceries and essential items that we are short on at our shared crisis accommodations. “Its success is proof of how strong the mum network is in our community, and how we have each other’s backs when times get tough,” says Hannah who directs Bondi Bubs Wholefoods and is leading the Grocery Giving Circle Initiative.    

Speaking of fundraising for essential items: our friends at Primer, along with publishing a story featuring WAGEC CEO Helen Silvia, are running an online fundraiser to support women and children living in our crisis accommodation during isolation. To thank their donors for getting involved, Primer is entering anyone who donates into a draw to win $1,000 worth of beauty products.  

If you couldn’t think of any more ways that our community could be supporting us online, check this out - when you buy one of these t-shirts from the No Bra Club, 100% of the proceeds will come to WAGEC.  

Priceline Martin Place, who have also been struggling during this time, have donated the remainder of their Beauty Boxes to our clients! Their boxes will provide much needed supplies and support to the women living in our refuges. To the team at Priceline, thank you!

Right before the restaurant shutdowns took place, our long-time supporters at the Australian Heritage Hotel pooled their monthly tips to donate over $1,000 to WAGEC. We were blown away to receive this generosity, especially given the current pressure that hospitality workers face. Tim, who manages the team at the Australian, says that they “remain grateful for each other, and the friendships made in hospitality. But most importantly, for people who are going above and beyond to help others in this incredibly difficult time.” 

It goes without saying that our community has been there for us.  

We want to be there for you too.  

That’s why we started We’re the Women*, an online community for people of all genders including non-binary people, transgender folks, men and women. This is a space for us all to stay connected right now, support one another and to add a bit of light-heartedness to our day-to-day. If you aren’t already a part of the group, this is a big, warm invitation to get involved– join here and leave a post telling us how you know WAGEC and how things are going for you. Or you can just say hi. 

At WAGEC, we are firm believers in hope. The generosity that has come from our community, in a time that is putting pressure on every single one of us, gives us hope and motivates us as we continue to be there for women and families in our community who are experiencing homelessness or domestic violence. Thank you, we’re so grateful you’re here with us. 

If you’re feeling inspired and want to support women and families, click here to get in touch. Want to help but not sure what you want to do? Email us and we’ll help you brainstorm!  

Are you or is someone you know holding an awesome initiative to support women and families? We would love to add your story to this post. Send us an email or tag us @womens.girls.emergency.centre (Instagram) or @WAGECREDFERN (Facebook) to be featured!  

Thank you again, look after one another, stay strong. 

We are in this together. 

*when we say women, we mean all womankind (and their children), including women of diverse gender and sexualities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women of colour and women of all ages and abilities.