Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Show your generosity this Christmas

As many of my friends know, I support lots of causes.  From Dress to Success Sydney, to Movember, to always donating to the Salvo man because that's what mum told me to do when I was a little girl.  I actively support The Smith Family and have been associated with them for years.  And since the death of my mother in April 2010 I also donate to Parkinsons and Alzheimers associations on a regular basis.  It's just what you do.

This year I am rallying behind something a little different.  I recently started to follow the Burwood Local Area Command on Facebook.  They are our local police. Burwood LAC posted something that got my attention.  It was:


LAST 5 YEARS!!! Outback Steakhouse have been putting on a free spread for 250 women and children who are living in women’s refuges because of Domestic Violence. These mums and kids have had to leave their home their families and loved-ones because of fear from their husbands or partners.

Burwood Police and the wonderful staff and management of Outback Steakhouse dedicate their time to make this day a special day for the mums and kids. Santa comes and gives out presents that have been donated by members of the public, Rhodes Shopping Centre, Westfield Burwood, Event Cinemas Burwood and The Salvos.

There is face panting, a jumping castle and Burwood Firies also bring their big trucks for the kids to climb into. Burwood Highway Patrol also gets into the act.

If anyone want’s to donate toys and gifts for the children, they can be left at the counter of Burwood Police Station. It would be best not to wrap the presents and place a tag with gender and age its appropriate for.

If anyone works for a cosmetics company, women’s magazines or knows someone who can donate small presents for mothers, this would be greatly appreciated. We need gifts for about 100 ladies, every little bit helps.


Now I work in the book industry.  Have done so for 22 years or more now, these days as a Publisher Relations & Marketing Communications Manager for the most recognised and leading library supplier in the country.  We are a big account for each publishing house. 
Everytime you go into a publisher's office there are books everyone. Books in foyers, on shelves, in meeting rooms.  Then I thought about it.  They regularly clear some area - like the reception area for example - to make way for the latest releases.  They also have publicity copies that might not have been sent out.  Why don't I see if I can get a handful of books from each major trade (adult & childrens) publishing house?  Aim for 100 books for the mums and some books for the kids.

And so I tweeted.  And my followers retweeted.  And theirs retweeted.  And so on and so forth. Last manual count (12 hours after the initial tweet went out) about 60,000 Twitter followers would have had the message in their feed.  Now assuming 1% actually read it, that's still 600 people, and that makes me happy.  But of course, I want the AUSTRALIAN PUBLISHERS to read it.  And thank goodness some of them are responding! Since the initial tweet I've had quite a lot of DMs and other twitter correspondence - and now emails at work.  I'm hoping for more, particularly from the major trade houses (who were emailed independently of my tweet).

For those that can send a few books, THANK YOU. (to my work address please - just Google me :) )

Oh, and in case you are interested and I have a plan B.  Too many books.  Yep, let's aim to help more of these families affected by domestic violence and give them something that shows we are aware of their situation. It's Christmas time folks.  A few books for the kids and something for the mums shouldn't be hard to organise. I'm doing my bit from here, let's hear it from everyone else.  xxx