To work towards what I believe in by either writing letters, petitions, sending emails, donating my time and or my money:
Have donated to:
* National Breast Cancer Foundation
* Doggie Rescue
* World Vision
* Red Cross
* Get Up
Future plans for donations:
* My poorer relatives in Cambodia (particularly my orphaned niece & nephew)
a) WWF (World Wildlife Foundation)
b) Cat Rescue
c) Try and change the laws for companion animals and ban backyard puppy and kitten farming to cut back on the pets being dumped and ultimately euthanised
* Rainforest Rescue & Saving the Cassowaries by buying blocks of rainforest land back from developers. Build upwards in existing urban areas and not outwards across cassowary habitats.
* Homelessness (which is not always a choice due to such reasons as domestic violence, mental illness, drug dependancy, sexual abuse, relationship breakdowns, uneducated, being under-educated etc):
a) The Exodus Foundation
b) Oz Harvest
c) St Vincent De Pauls
d) Lous Place (A shelter for women)
An excerpt from http://www.homelessforum.org/:
"I was in a wonderful marriage that turned violent after my husband began drinking (he had been sober for 7years) We had lived in the 'middle of nowhere' and even a call to 000 could mean anything from an hour wait to 24/48hours before police could arrive.
I wanted to leave but had nowhere to go. Police offered some help...(helped contact housing and centrelink in a far away town I wanted to move to and then they held my husband for 24hours to give me time to pack my 4 sons into my car and drive away)
When I arrived and went to Housing they gave me a BIG list of everything I had to do to qualify for 'emergency housing' (something which they did not explain to myself or police earlier) I began going down the checklist but within the week I was penniless and we had began sleeping in the car. I visited Centrelink to ask for assistance and was told if I had no home address or contact phone number I was NOT entitled to support/payments. BACK to Housing who explained if I didn't have any income (from wages or centrelink) that I wasn't entitled to Housing (as I had no proof I could pay the rent)
My 4 sons (3yo, 7yo, 10yo, 13yo) and I had already been living in the car on a riverbank for a week. A policeman woke us at 11pm one night and told me we could not camp there as it wasn't a camping area. I told him we were homeless and had nowhere else to go..He told me that wasn't his problem,,I had to move on!!
We drove out to the Cotter Dam in Canberra but couldn't pay the camping fees. Park Rangers told us it didn't matter..People out there camping (on holiday) began inviting us to their BBQ's and leaving us their leftover food when they were leaving.
On boy of about 14yo spent a few days fishing and ran up the bank squealing when he finally caught a fish. He gave to me and my sons and said he had been trying for days to catch a fish for us!!!!
After another 5 1/2 weeks my husband found us. He waited until dark as I went to the toilets, knocked me out and dragged me into the bushes. A lady saw this and rang the police. Police arrived with an ambulance and my children and I were taken to hospital. After receiving stitches and making statements the police asked where I wanted to be dropped off. When I said nowhere as we had nowhere to go the policeman said ""Ok, by the way that man stole your car, you'll have to come to the station tomorrow and file a report"
There we sat at the hospital without even a car to live in. No clothes, no shoes NOTHING!
It was the Doctor who took action. In the middle of the night he began ringing everyone and making complaints. DOCS turned up and placed us in a safe-house/hotel under protection. They gave me some money to buy shoes and a change of clothes and some food THEN they contacted Centrelink.
After 7 weeks in a motel we finally got a house. I also received backpay from Centrelink as it was found that I WAS entitled to help from day 1.
During my homeless time I had been to Salvo's, Vinneys etc you name it and zilch. Noone even told me of the free places that supplied food/meals or anywhere we could stay or ask for help. They just kept sending me in circles telling me somewhere else would help.
I never chose to be homeless. I (with help of police) had rang before leaving our family home and thought we had all our boxes ticked. I did everything legal/by the book and didn't try 'rip off' the system or anything else. I just fell through the gaps!!
IF it wasn't for the kindness of the Canberra people camping at the Cotter Dam and the Rangers there that helped us..I don't know what we would have done!!! "