I have just pressed ‘send’ - yet another email to a politician hoping to get a response. It is a confounding truth that decisions made on urgent and important issues - such as our suicide and domestic violence rates - are largely in the hands of people who write policies and consider the ‘big picture’. People whose hands are tied by red tape - and so timeframes become long, through committees and meetings and blah, blah, blah. I do appreciate there has to be a process, but positive outcomes for people in our communities affected by these issues actually rely on people like you and me, people who see a need and act on it, whether through giving money or rolling up our sleeves. However, gaining traction is not an easy feat - unless you’re tenacious and willing to live and breathe a cause because somehow, underneath it all, it has affected you in some way.
That is exactly what this post is about: a persistent, passionate group of people, having seen a need in their community, who forged their way through the unknown territory of setting up a charity, responding to growing demands, creating workable on-going systems, considering funding options and most importantly, requiring buy-in from their community.
I Got Your Back Pack is something our small community can be incredibly proud of. It was set up by the founder as a result of first-hand observation. Observation of kids and women going through Women’s Refuge who were at an extremely traumatic and vulnerable point in their lives. Observation that getting out of a violent situation meant people often arrived with little or no personal effect . . . and so an idea was born. The idea that a cheerful new backpack with attractive but practical contents could provide a welcome distraction for a few moments - hopefully more - aiding the settling-in process, helping women and children to feel cared for.
I Got Your Back Pack is a small organisation dreaming big dreams. Their goal is to provide 10,000 backpacks to women and children
per year. They already provide backpacks for the whole of Auckland with interest being shown from other areas of our nation.
No surprises there. Who wouldn’t want to offer this amazing service to women and their children who have been living most people’s worst nightmare? Why am I writing about this in my blog? Merely as a promotional exercise? Well, no. Apart from believing with my heart and soul that this is the sort of stuff you just can’t help but want to see flourish, can’t help but want to be a part of - it’s also directly supporting disempowered members of our society who could be living next door to you and me! When I say 'disempowered’, I mean that their personal power base has been stolen from them in some way. That’s not acceptable in any community.
This should be enough to get us onto our feet and out of our comfort zones.
Watch this space, because in the near future I will be announcing exciting news about an opportunity for yours truly to do my small bit!
I would love you to visit their website, and have a look around . . . heading into Christmas is a notoriously busy time for Women’s Refuge. You could donate some toothbrushes, or other toiletries . . . Check out their list!
Please like this post and forward to your Facebook contacts. Thank you!