It can difficult to sort through the various ways to give, but this one really appeals to me. Beyond pink and blue are putting together comfort packs for kids of all ages affected by the bushfires. Cloth bags containing a few items - a soft toy, a colouring book, a puzzle or game, a little bottle of bubble mix, a book to read, a new T-shirt, some undies (how much do I take for granted a clean pair of undies everyday?). Small and light.
Some comfort, some distraction, a moment of peace for the mums and dads caring for them in the chaos. Anyone who has every looked after a kid in any circumstances knows how little it takes to make a kid happy. And a kid who has lost everything is just waiting to be made happy.
It is so easy for anyone to help with this one. Make a stack of simple bags if you sew, buy some colour pencils or inexpensive books, make a toy, embellish some new T-shirts from Target or K-Mart. It doesn't have to cost a lot or take a lot of time. Nicole is even hosting a sewing bee on Saturday in Brunswick where she'll help sewers get going on simple bags. I hope some of you will make the effort and come, aside from being a good thing, it will be fun too!
There are drop off points for goods in Balwyn, Brunswick and Eltham, or you can post stuff in. Or act as a drop off point for others and do a group run of stuff so people aren't wasting valuable donation dollars on postage.
**edited to add - Of course, it goes without saying that cash donations are the best. Your money can be pooled centrally and deployed into the kinds of goods required specifically for each situation.
The Red Cross is inundated with donations of food and clothing, but other agencies, such as the Salvation Army is still collecting and distributing such donations. Best to check with various websites if you wish to donate goods.
The handmade help stuff is really the icing on the cake, for people who want to get ready to contribute something for the longer term, and who believe the things they make by hand give something more than the just the 'thing'.