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The spirit of Christmas comes to refuge

Every gift or donation we receive at Refuge Victoria is greatly appreciated, no matter what time of year it is given – but there’s something about donations at Christmastime that really touches the hearts of our staff, and bring extra joy to the families who receive them.  

For every donation at Christmas, there’s a story, and these stories capture the true spirit of Christmas. Here’s some of the stories of Christmas giving at Refuge Victoria. 

Every year, the incredible women of the Victorian Police Forensic Services run a fundraising campaign to align with the 16 Days of Activism campaign, which starts from 25 November. During the 16 Days of Activism, people around the world unite to raise awareness about gender-based violence, challenge discriminatory attitudes and call for improved laws and services to end violence against women for good.  

This year, the Victoria Police Forensic Services staff chose Refuge Victoria as their charity. Refuge Victoria met with staff at their offices and talked about the work Refuge Victoria does with families escaping family violence – and wow, did the women from Victoria Police step up! Staff thoughtfully donated items for Christmas, including toys and gifts for children and their mothers, as well as items we need all year round, including new linen and non-perishable food items.  

This Christmas we were also supported by the RizeUp Australia 2023 Gift Appeal. RizeUp staff worked with us to make sure every child, mum and single woman in refuge had gifts this Christmas. They donated a range of toys, books, sporting goods to suit the ages of our children in refuge, as well as bags and toiletries. 

Every year since 2012, Ray White Real Estate has run the Little Ray of Giving initiative, when the whole community is encouraged to donate toys and gifts for children and families doing it tough at Christmas. 

During December, staff, clients and community members dropped off toys and gifts to Ray White Real Estate Croydon, which, with the help of their charity partner Rotary Club of Maroondah, were distributed to family violence refuge and accommodation properties run by Refuge Victoria. 

This year, several businesses raised funds for Refuge Victoria to support families over the Christmas period. Cash donations are vital for the work we do at Refuge Victoria, because they allow us to spend funds on specific needs of individual families. 

Our friends at Maroondah City Council once again supported us with funds raised through their workplace giving donations, and one bar in St Kilda donated a dollar for Refuge Victoria from every beer pulled, as part of a fundraising initiative. Cheers guys! 

Often, it is the donations made by individuals, families and community groups at Christmas time that really stay with us. Every person has a reason for donating to families at Refuge Victoria and often they share these stories with us. 

There are people who have friends or family members who have experienced family violence; others who have heard the statistics about family violence on the news and felt compelled to do what they can to help.  

This year, one woman donated a significant amount of money, as well as hand-picked presents for the mothers in refuge. She told staff that many years ago she had experienced family violence, and had never forgotten the kindness of those who had helped her nor the women who would come after her. 

The collective impact of these donations – whether large or small – cannot be overstated. For women who have experienced the very worst in human behaviour, they are the gift of hope. They say to women that despite what they may have been told for sometimes many years, they are worthy of something special; that for all they have experienced, there is still love and goodness in the world. 

That’s a gift that is truly priceless. 

We would like to warmly thank all the individuals, businesses and community organisations who donated to Refuge Victoria this Christmas and wish all a safe and prosperous new year.  

If you would like to support the work of Refuge Victoria your donation will be warmly welcomed. 

If your workplace is looking for a workplace giving charitable partner in 2024, we’d love to have a chat. Drop us a line here.