My Mum, budget day and volunteer week
It is budget day here in Australia. I’ve decided to write about my Mum, Margaret. I’d love for the budget to make her happy because she’d love a budget that builds rather than divides our community, one that does not push more people out to the margins.
Mum’s dedicated to her work in aged care and is involved in a range of community activities, some organised and others are just part of who she is. (I can remember leaving out lollies in homemade bon bons for the postie when I was a kid.)
It’s National Volunteer Week and over the past ten years I’ve been particularly impressed with how my mother has continued to visit detention centres; write letters, attend meetings, forums, and rallies, and organise fundraising events for asylum seekers as well as support refugees who have settled in Ballarat. Some of these activities such as visiting detention centres have been with my Dad or her friends.
I also love this picture that @Kon_K founder of the Asylum Seeker Centre tweeted of the hundreds of people who attended a recent information night for volunteers. It’s all too easy to be depressed by the snark, the haters, the gutlessness of our politicians, to “read the comments” and yell at the TV particularly in this election year. In those moments, I need to remember my Mum and all those working in their own way to make our community a better one for all.
[And here’s a picture of my Mum at my brother Steve and Shu-Ling’s wedding (which was also both Dad and my birthday).]
Update 26 May 2013
Mum, together with friends of hers from Ballarat regularly visit MITA. They were at MITA this Wednesday and she said there were at least 20 children of different ages at the visitors centre and many were asking her for clothes. (There may well be more children in MITA as not all were necessarily at the visitor’s centre at the time Mum visited).
Mum said there are a number of toddlers, both boys and girls and also quite a few boys and girls around 7 – 10 years old at MITA. She said warm clothes such as jeans and coats would be particularly appreciated. (Note donations of clothes or books cannot just be sent to MITA, the staff require the name of a child.)
If you would like to assist, please get in contact with me or you can also donate directly to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s Winter Appeal at this link: http://www.givenow.com.au/asrcwinterappeal