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Clothes to 'go ... A small appeal

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Good friends of mine are currently evacuees of the South Coast, NSW. Good friends of theirs are among those who live in Brogo, Cobargo and surrounds who lost their homes and possessions in bushfires on December 31st. Members of my friends' family were still in Brogo today, prepared to once again defend property in awfully volatile conditions. It's both obvious and horrifying that the predicament of my friends, and their friends, is not at all isolated. Support of various kinds is necessarily being directed through myriad channels across this poor land. It's with friends, and friendship, in mind that I've offered to initiate a small clothing drive, with the aim of getting good clothing quickly to families in Brogo, Cobargo and nearby.

If you are able to contribute, I am asking for one, two, three items... These should be clean, everyday garments in very good condition, preferably suitable for hot, warm or warm-ish weather (no coats at this stage). Clothing for men, women and small children is all welcome - please think quality over quantity. I don't yet know how the garments will be transported north but their distribution will be from friend to friend to friend - starting with you to me. It's not too soon for me to start collecting. Be in touch if you would like to organise a handover. My email remains leah@millysleeping.com. Drop-offs to the Abbotsford Convent studio next Saturday (January 11) would be wonderful if that happens to be easy enough for you, but I can also accept items to Carlton at a pre-arranged time, or I can come to you, or we can meet in the middle! Posting items is also good if you don't mind the cost; address parcels 'Att: Leah, P O Box 1275, Carlton VIC 3053'. I think it'd be nice to tag each garment with the name of its giver - feel free to do so yourself or at least identify yourself to me.

For the record, I've had the chance to be in touch with afore-mentioned friends and they've simply said that they think this is a good idea. I am very conscious that it's a drop in the ocean - but I want to go ahead with the drive because I've met or heard many times of some of the people who have just lost everything. Several are women around my age with young children. Although it's nigh unfathomable, I *think* if it were me, and I was offered a little bundle of nice clothing, even one lovely shirt - carefully chosen, folded and tied up with string - I think I would like that. Maybe there are circumstances when what you're wearing makes negligible difference to how you feel... but maybe there aren't.

Any items that form an excess for whatever reason will be redirected thoughtfully (likely to a Red Cross op shop if they are happily accepting donations).

If I've forgotten some necessary details and/or you have questions, please feel free to email me.

Thank you very, very much for reading this.

* * *

Speaking of excess and material goods... When I first floated this idea on Instagram, Irene reminded me that stricken communities and charity organisations can be inundated with donated goods that aren't quite suitable or useful. Elizabeth pointed towards G I V I T, a not-for-profit that works to mitigate this issue. Hours later, I saw messages from both Red Cross and the CFA stating that monetary donations are the best help one can give at this time. It's my personal connection and the possibility of direct giving (from one small group to another) that have prompted this particular appeal - undertaking a larger drive is not currently feasible nor apt. Social media platforms are awash with excellent suggestions for how to help more generally and where to donate. I'll list a handful here just in case - - -

Buy A Bale

Fire relief fund for First Nations Communities

Foodbank

Wildlife Victoria

WIRES Wildlife Rescue

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital

Australian Wildlife Health Centre

All praise to - - -

CFA VIC

NSW RFS

<3 <3

(Image above is Pierre Bonnard's 'Door Opening Onto The Garden', 1924)

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