Posted by Vicki Teschke on Apr 14, 2024
Small comforts from Community; update
Please see attached (here) a most lovely communique from The Alfred head of ops MHU.
Elsa (our link at The Alfred and former head of Allied Health MHU) added a reflection recently when she was in conversation with a distressed client.  She needed to de-escalate the situation.  She offered a a new T shirt.  This happens over and over.  And when she offers the T shirt, or hoodie, or undies, or socks, the client responds with a softening.  The conversation and trust open.  This is one aspect of our project.
There is much going on in this busy world of supporting our hospital MHU’s….your Club’s involvement is a part of it. There has been lots of activity, even though we don’t meet.  Barry, your warehouse storing the care bag supplies and hosting packing days, Laurie, and Bob at DIK, similarly providing the clothing bays and resources for some care bag supplies.  
From Jan 2019 until now care bags and clothing have been delivered fortnightly to The Alfred by a team of Bronwyn (Brighton North), Vicki (Albert Park) and Pam (Port Philip).  Packing days of clothing to support this were required either at DIK or Bronwyn and Mark’s garage.   The logistics in supporting this have become unsustainable.  An arrangement has been revised where regular care bag deliveries are continuing thanks to Pam.  Clothing will be picked up by Alfred MHU from DIK.  Our volunteers will pick and pack it according to a wish list provided a week ahead and have it prepared.  We will no longer deliver it and pack it in the unit’s cupboards.
Financially, we are so fortunate to have donated goods from DIK, GIVIT and Good360.  There have been purchased goods wholesale from Alibaba.  Mens undies and tracktops.  Thank you to Scott and Mark for navigating this space and assisting with compliance of a Rotary Foundation District Grant.  We were able to purchase around $10,000 clothing with his assistance.
Care bag packing at Barry’s with warehouse manager Simon integral to what is achieved.   It seems amazing that 200 bags can be packed in 2 hours.   Bulk clothing being decanted into manageable sizes for the hospitals a very useful working bee also if your Club can assist.
A Rotary Foundation Grant through Rotary Brighton North has leveraged project funds.  President Lyn Mortimore’s support in enabling this grant application was pivotal in its success.  The engine room in due diligence around the application was not easy.  Katrina and Mark persisted and District 9800 Committee Chair Humanitarian Grants - District and Global Richard Blakeman generously extended the timeline to allow the report to be finalised.  Once the funds were transferred his words around the project telling
“ It is heart warming to read of the joy and comfort brought by this act of kindness. Congratulations to everyone on your team.”
The provision of Foundation Grant as well as a grant from Rotary Balwyn supplemented by consortium funds was able to fund $10K in clothing as well as the cost of racking at DIK. The racking and our own aisle at DIK has meant that we are able to store bulk donations of clothing and the grant money has enabled the top of mens sweat tops and underwear which has been in short supply from donations. The combination is that we have been able to supply both the Alfred and Box Hill hospitals a full suite of clothing at a retail value of many $1000’s.
So, we journey on, quietly but so very effectively. 
With acknowledgment of us all
Bronwyn Stephens           Katrina Flinn
Rotary Brighton North    Rotary Hawthorn