In early 2020, when members of the Zonta Club of Bendigo became aware that counseling sessions with homeless women and their children would go a long way in benefiting the victims of COVID-19. At the request of the Loddon Mallee Homeless Network, our club purchased sets of Multi-Cultural Dolls for that purpose. This set of dolls have been shown to reduce the impact of childhood trauma during counseling sessions.
Also, with the effect of the lock down and COVID-19 rampaging our community, members immediately stepped up to assist those who needed food, especially those experiencing homelessness and family violence
Our club responded to the situation by donating $2500 to the local Food bank. The primary use of the money was to support women and children.
Also because of the lock down, the number of women seeking support for family violence increased and many of these women reluctantly had to leave their homes. The club provided them with emergency accommodation while also donating $4000 to the Centre for Non-Violence to assist these women. The funds were used to purchase Essentials Gift Cards that can be used for groceries, fuel, and necessary items for survival.
As a club, the Zonta Club of Bendigo has had a long-standing service project. The project is our supply of toiletry bags to services supporting women who are victims of violence. This year alone, the club has supplied over 250 bags to organizations like Annie North Women’s Refuge and the Centre for Non-Violence.
Older women experiencing homelessness have also not been forgotten, as Zonta Bendigo provided an initial donation through Haven Home Safe that goes toward the distribution of shampoos, cut, and dry. The vouchers will provide about $2500 worth of items to these women.
In terms of healthcare, our club partnered with Bendigo Health with assistance from the Zonta International Headquarters, we were able to supply over 150 tote bags containing overnight toiletries for staff and patients of Bendigo Health.
In total, since the beginning of the year, the Zonta Club of Bendigo has provided donations to the value of almost $14,000 as well as many toiletries to those members of our community who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.