ECEC asked to host Dandelion Day and help raise money to support families in need
Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services are being asked to lend a hand and host a fundraising event for the Dandelion Support Network, a not-for-profit organisation that supports children and families in need by arranging the donation, safety checks, and transport of children’s new and preloved clothes and nursery items.
For the final two weeks of November, services and individuals are asked to host a Dandelion Day baby shower and come together, in person or virtually, to eat delicious food for a small donation, and celebrate 10 years and the more than 12,000 families helped in that time.
The Dandelion Foundation supports more than 2,000 families a year, and hopes its tenth anniversary fundraiser will generate $30,000, much needed at a time when demand has grown while operations have reduced thanks to COVID-19.
Event organisers can find everything they need using the Virtual Event Kit. Any financial support or donated nursery items big or small, preloved or new, twill go directly to help families in need throughout Greater Sydney and the Illawarra.
Gabrielle Humphreys, Operations and Volunteer Manager, says the COVID-19 pandemic created a number of setbacks for Dandelion. “Our waitlists are growing by the day and our shelves for many essential items are close to empty,” she said.
Comparing the periods October 2019 to September 2020 and October 2020 to September 2021, the number of families Dandelion was able to support decreased by 23 per cent.
Families who were already struggling to make ends meet pre-pandemic were further impacted from the uncertainty of COVID-19. In New South Wales’ most recent lockdown, Dandelion had to temporarily close its warehouse for two weeks, resulting in a huge impact on its ability to receive and process the items it provides to families in need. Across 2019/2020, 68 per cent of Dandelion’s referrals were from the 12 local government areas (LGAs) which were known as the LGAs of Concern during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“In addition, our team has had to reduce numbers on-site as well as reduce contact with the community. And yet, the families we help are in need more than ever before as a result of the stress and financial implications of the pandemic,” Ms Humphreys said.
“We encourage organisations big and small, including businesses, schools, and community groups, to get on board with the simple act of hosting a morning tea — in person if we can, or using our comprehensive and easy Virtual Event Kit — and donating to help babies get the best start in life with quality, pre-loved essential items.