Harman Park activity coordinator Linda Taylor, who helped facilitate the gifting of the care packages, said it warmed her heart to see the group reunite to help others in need after gifting handmade care packages to families of newborn babies at King Edward Memorial Hospital last year.
“The ladies who come to Harman Park every Tuesday came up with the idea not long after our previous project as they really wanted to do something meaningful for other services at MercyCare,” Linda said.
“They love being involved in projects like this as they enjoy giving back to those others in the community.”
Located in the City of Belmont, Harman Park Community Centre is a vibrant, friendly hub that provides engaging opportunities for seniors and those living with a disability to socialise and connect.
The centre provides attendees with an array of social activities and outings which are run by trained MercyCare staff and volunteers.
Each care package was lovingly put together by hand to be gifted to children and young people through MercyCare’s Fostering and Youth Wellbeing and Accommodation team and to young people supported by MercyCare’s Amber Youth Wellness program.
The youth care packages contained toiletry items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and flannels, while the foster care packages comprised reading and colouring books along with hand-knitted teddies, beanies, cardigans and blankets.
“They wanted to create these care packages for the children so they have a special bag filled with things just of their own, including a teddy to cuddle or a blanket to snuggle into,” Linda said.
“For the youth care packages, the group went out and bought items to put into bags which were also handmade by some of our talented clients who can sew and knit.”
This month, 13 care packages were handed over to the Amber Youth Wellness team, who were elated by the kind donations, with 20 packages set to be gifted to the Fostering team.
“We are ever so grateful to have received these donations and to be able to provide these to some of the young people we work with,” MercyCare Amber Youth Wellness Service Coordinator Emma Brennan said.
“It was moving to see everyone come together for this project to create these care packages, and we look forward to gifting them to the young people we support in our program.”
Launched in mid-2020, MercyCare’s award-winning mental health program Amber Youth Wellness provides free support to young people to function better, improve mental wellness and relationships.
Linda said she was blown away by generosity and enthusiasm shown by the seniors as they came together each week to work on the project.
“Harman Park is a place where the groups can get together and work on projects like these, and I love seeing them come together,” Linda said.
Linda said the group are already brainstorming their next project: “One comment from one of our seniors was, “Well what’s the next project we can work on?’”