People are extraordinarily generous, and if I have learned one thing, over the last few years, it is this. That most people want to help, but really aren’t sure how to go about that. I can show you, if you’ll let me. And in the process of helping us, it is more than likely, somewhere along the way, that we can help you out too.
I currently work indepth with 2 organisations who run 3 women’s refuges between them. I also work with the NZ Prostitutes Collective, in Auckland, providing clothes and some additional needs for their most vulnerable street workers. We support women when they leave the primary refuge (that’s the one I’ve been working with since 2013) as well as women in the community who organisations refer to me.
I visit 2 of the refuges, one of them several times a week. I visit the Prostitute’s Collective once a week. I do collections of donations on Tuesdays, and take them to our storage unit. The women in our primary refuge come there to get what they need. The refuge coordinator of the secondary refuge contacts me to let me know what is needed, and I take it to her, currently.
This particular list is for general needs of all the refuges, and organisations, run by the people I work with.
We now have drop offs all over Auckland: Central, New Lynn, North Shore, Greenhithe, Pakuranga, North of Auckland, and I am out South. So if you have stuff to give to the refuge, please message me via facebook/email me/tweet me, and I’ll let you know who to contact.
Please, also, if what you’re looking to donate is not on this list, email me. Or if you’d like to phone me, do that. I’m on 0275228115.
We have the storage unit, but space is still somewhat limited! I like clothing items, and bedding to be put in black rubbish sacks. Boxes don’t fit in my car very well, and are cumbersome. Also please note: if bags are too heavy, I will not take them. I will also not take bedding or clothes that isn’t freshly laundered or nice. The whole idea of the Aunties is that the women get the best we can get them, and we intend to keep it that way.
Please always bear in mind that, in any given year, we service and care for a lot of people, most of whom are dealing with the fall out of family/street or intimate partner violence. Their needs are many, and our aim is to provide them with as many of those needs as is practicable. We keep up with most needs but we always need more.
So what do we need? And how can you help us?
Money is always, of course, very useful. We prefer that you not put money in the refuge bank account, directly, as it poses difficulties if not tagged for a purpose, and the MSD consider this to be extra funding, which is then detrimental to the refuge financial affairs. You can put money into our bank account – which is changing shortly, but the original one will stay open for a while – or our Givealittle. The Givealittle funds don’t come into our bank account until the month follwing (if you give eg in July, the money comes to us in August). They recieve a limited amount of funding from the MSD – women are funded to stay at refuge for one month only, so they pay board as well – and it can be difficult to stretch those dollars. Every thing you give us is something they don’t have to buy, and this can stretch those dollars further, and further. They are supporting a lot of people, and so, by proxy, are we! Please note, at this time, the main beneficiaries of these funds are the women who reside in the two primary refuges we work with. I am hoping to extend that to the secondary refuge. Apart from the cost of the storage unit – $150 a month – and the PO Box – $90 a year – I do not use any of the funds for administration costs. The Board has recently started giving me mileage money – I drive between 900 – 1100 kms a month, and we are starting to apply for funding so I can get a salary for this job, which is now fulltime.
Contributing to our bank account is the best option. That bank account, currently is in the names of:
MRS V L EDWARDS AND MRS J GOODISON AND OTHERS
And contributing via our Givealittle funding page is the easiest option.
Funds raised are used to provide things it’s hard to get donated:
- ID needed for the women or children for applications
- grocery vouchers for the FVIARS coordinator to distribute
- grocery vouchers for women when they arrive, and at regular intervals for all women in residence in the two refuges
- drivers licenses
- school provisions for the childrens’ new school such as uniforms, stationary, and schoolbags
- vouchers for the women to purchase new kitchenware, bedding and small appliances for their new home (they are given $100 kmart vouchers when they leave)
- art supplies for the children
- trips for the refuge mums and their children
All of these are needs that we find hard to meet. The women in most refuges pay board, and for their own food. If we take as many worries off their plate for them, they get the space and time to think, calmly, about what’s next. It’s as simple as that.
If you would like a receipt, please email email@example.com and we will sort that for you.
2. Bedding/towels (2nd hand/preloved absolutely fine)
At the moment, we are in dire need of towels. The women get to keep these when they leave, so this is really important. In the other refuges we are working with, there are many people. Please make sure these are freshly washed and in good condition.
3. Birthday presents.
There are around 86 kids through the two primary refuges every year – many of them don’t ever get gifts so we try hard to make sure they have birthday and xmas pressies. If you would like to buy a gift for a child/children, please do that and send to:
PO Box 76638,
. Thank you!
4. Womens Clothes – sizes 14 – 20 The women at the primary refuges come to the storage unit when they need stuff so that they can get what they want. At the moment, we have a real lack of warm winter clothes. Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will come and collect.
5. Slippers and socks (both for women and kids)
6. Undies! Kid’s and Women’s! All sizes please – particularly in bigger women’s sizes, are much much needed. The NZPC also likes to give undies to women when they drop in to get a change of clothes.
7. Hotel toiletries: These are for the Prostitute’s Collective. The women who work on the street pop into the NZPC offices on a daily basis to pick up a new pack. We particularly need shampoos and conditioners at the moment.
If you have any of the goods on this list, please email me email@example.com or tweet me @whaeapower and I will come and pick them up when I can. Or you may courier/post to:
The Aunties, PO Box 76638, Manukau, Auckland 2241
The biggest way you can help me to get the women what they need is to share this blog, and/or find us on facebook – http://www.facebook.com/refugeaunties – I keep the facebook page updated daily with needs, and stories.
Many thanks for your interest, and compassion. We can’t do this without you.
You can contact me @whaeapower on Twitter
Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org