It’s almost February, so I’m a bit late with this post.
#refugexmas is done and dusted , the new year has started, life has returned to some sort of routine.
But I wanted to tell you all a little about what a difference you made to the women and kids this year. 25 women, and approximately 70 kids, to be more accurate.
You need to know that for many of the kids present at the refuge xmas party, the gifts you sent for them are the only gifts they got this Xmas.
You need to know that last year, two young women arrived at refuge, terrified and withdrawn, and at #refugexmas they laughed and played like the kids they were never able to be.
You need to know that two of the women are doing social work degrees, and that they take great heart from all the support they are given, to the extent that they have chosen a career path that will enable them to give back.
You need to know that for many of the women, the money you gave to our givealittle fund for food has enabled them to breathe a little easier.
You need to know that a woman who arrived at refuge two days before the party was overwhelmed that her children should be getting presents for xmas, when she had expected that there would be none.
And you need to know that laughter – the predominant sound at the refuge – is the language of freedom.
There are many uncertainties in my line of voluntary work. The women come and go, I never know what’s coming and when. But there is one constant. My gratitude to all of you -strangers and friends alike, who rally around me and help me to do this.
I tried to name all of you and ended up naming none. Perhaps that is what we prefer? I’m your face, your voice, I guess. It’s why it works, all of this, and I’m okay with that.
But don’t think I could do it ever without you. Because I used to and it was unsustainable, and now here we are.