Spirit Of Community

St Kilda Mums Gift Packs
I had the most inspiring morning today. I spent a couple of hours working with a lovely team of women at Apples and Jam (this is a truly gorgeous place and I include some photos and more info about it at the end of the post).

Back in early November I received and email from the St Kilda Mums which said:

One of the mums in our network has offered to co-ordinate a donation drive for Christmas gifts and we have set the target at 100 gifts for preschoolers.

We thought that we would put together some fantastic art packs full of crayons, pencils, glue sticks, decorative pieces – ie glitter, sequins, pom poms, pipe cleaners, ribbons, etc (things that kids can use to decorate items that they may already have at home and can get creative with – ie old tissue boxes) textas, fun stickers, play dough and play dough cutters, paints, and coloured papers. Anything that really kids can be crafty with.

The benefit of this is also that we dont need to worry about gifts for boys or girls, which makes it easier for the case workers to manage too.

St Kilda Mums Gift Packs
The mum in question was Jessica (3rd from the left) from Apples and Jam. I can only imagine the hours that has gone into this effort by Jessica, Mary, Gemma and Co.

St Kilda Mums - Gift Packs
They not only reached their target of 100 gift packs, but they exceeded it.

St Kilda Mums Gift Packs
They received a wide range of donations from both companies and individuals, so they were able to put together packs by age groups: 3 -5 year olds, 5 – 7 year olds and 7 plus. Thanks goes to Micador and also to Colorific for donating some wonderful art and craft supplies.

St Kilda Mums Gift Packs
They even received gorgeous beads donated by Misuzi, to put together beading packs for older girls.

The quality of the goods that went into each pack was fantastic. St Kilda mums will be delivering these packs to case workers in the area, so they will have something special on Christmas Day.

Apples and Jam

Apples and Jam made such a beautiful venue for this community focused activity. It is part of the wonderful new precinct South Melbourne Commons. The South Melbourne Commons (‘Commons’) is a family friendly community hub, located on the corner of Bank & Montague St in South Melbourne.

All enterprises at The Commons must adhere to strict environmental guidelines outlined by Friends of the Earth. All enterprises must have a social purpose and give something back to the local community.

The Commons is having their official opening this week end, with lots of great activities for the kids – you can see more info here.

Apples and Jam holds children’s classes, playgroups and birthday parties. Birthday parties which:

sets a new standard with eco friendly practice, whilst still delivering that magical experience for children. We use recycled house materials in all our programs and beautiful decorations that don’t need to be discarded after each party.

And the venue has such a lovely warmth to it as you will see in the photos below. You can sign up to the Apples and Jam newsletter to keep up to date on all the kids activities they have at the playhouse.

Apples and Jam South Melbourne

Apples and Jam South Melbourne

Apples and Jam South Melbourne

Apples and Jam South Melbourne

Apples and Jam South Melbourne

Community Blogging

It has been way too long since I have done something for the community, broader than that of the school/kinder community of my kids. I could give 100 excuses as to why this is the case, but I won’t.

Today showed me that with some hard work and determination you can achieve for those in the broader community, who are in more need than those closest to me.

Getting involved is a choice and just requires planning and prioritisation. This is something I want to work on in 2012 and have already made a start on with some other lovely Melbourne Bloggers. We have started Community Blogging – where bloggers work together in supporting and working with not for profit organisations in the local community.

We have our first event this Friday, where the proceeds from this event will go to St Kilda Mums and the ASRC. If you are a blogger in Melbourne and you would like to come along there are four tickets (free) left. You can register here.

I will talk a bit more about the event next week, but I would just like to thank the companies who are supporting the event by donating cash and/or goods to these organisations. Without their support the event would’t be possible:

Love that at Christmas time I have been lucky enough to witness community spirit in action! Have you witnessed it action recently?