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Cire partners with Big W Lilydale to share gift of giving

Cire has welcomed a partnership with Big W Lilydale Services which has brought much cheer to people across the region and well beyond, in the lead up to Christmas.

Through a huge distribution of surplus new goods, Cire and Big W have touched the lives and hearts of people of all ages and challenging circumstances including families doing it tougher than ever due to the impact of COVID, young children and at-risk youth, the homeless, as well as asylum seekers and refugees, and people in crises presenting at hospital emergency departments.

Cire CEO, Gus Seremetis said the distribution was incredibly timely given the far-reaching impact of COVID and the fact an increasing number of people are facing levels of vulnerability they have not experienced previously.

She said it was extremely rewarding to work with Big W Lilydale to assist people in need within the Yarra Ranges and beyond.

Due to COVID, Big W Lilydale had a large surplus of stock that needed to be moved to allow for pre-ordered consignments, particularly in the run-up to Christmas and the re-opening of retail with the easing of restrictions in metro Melbourne. The store contacted Cire to assist with distribution to people most in need, rather than send the valuable consignment to landfill.

Cire CEO, Gus Seremetis said the distribution was incredibly timely given the far-reaching impact of COVID and the fact an increasing number of people are facing levels of vulnerability they have not experienced previously.

She said it was extremely rewarding to work with Big W Lilydale to support people within the Yarra Ranges and beyond.

Rebecca Moyle, Manager of Soft Goods at Big W Lilydale, commended Cire on the way it sorted the enormous consignment of clothing, shoes, toys and other goods and ensured they reached those in need.

Cire was able to distribute most of the consignment through its core business units of Cire Children’s Services, Cire Community School for at-risk youth, Cire Community Hubs and First Impression Clothing Exchange for vulnerable women.

Cire was also able to facilitate access for other local organisations such as Nourish Network, Redwood Centre at Warburton, LinC Yarra Valley and Discovery Community Care based at Lilydale. Other beneficiaries were the Maroondah Hospital Emergency Department and a community outreach program looking after up to 2000 people a week including asylum seekers and refugees thanks to the joint efforts of Servants of the Two Hearts and Reaching Out Because We Can.

Overawed, a Cire Children’s Services mum exclaimed:

“Oh my god, this is a life saver I’m putting some of it away for Christmas for my five children. This is so awesome, thank you so much!”

At Maroondah Hospital, staff were equally amazed by the generosity. Many homeless people present to the Emergency Department without shoes and only the clothes they are wearing which sometimes needs to be cut off. It is so nice to be able to send them home in new clothes.

Also, the Christmas period is a time when the hospital sees more mums in crises presenting with young families.  New clothing for their babies and young children provides real relief.

Images – main image Cire staff sorting through the Big W Lilydale consignment in the underground car park of Cire’s Lilydale head office.

Donations by the patient trolley load for Maroondah Hospital Emergency Department

Goods on display for families at Cire Children’s Services at Yarra Junction

Elisa Mineo_Reaching Out Because We Çan (left) and Sr Margaret_ Servants of the Two Hearts

For further information please contact Sandra Bucovaz, Manager Partnerships and Funding, Cire Services Inc. Tel. 0401 617 122

Cire Children’s Services toy and equipment drive – we need your help

Over the coming weeks Cire Children’s Services  will be reaching out to the community for donations and support for new educational toys and equipment.

Young children learn by imagining and doing. Their education and learning development is imperative to their early years’ learning; it helps to build social skills, problem solving skills and language skills. Our children’s services want to provide the best possible learning space for the children ensuring they are provided with the specific learning outcomes as outlined in the early years’ framework, which is why it is so important to offer them a variety of educational toys, equipment and experiences.

Our childcare centres, and out of school hours care programs, always need to replace or upgrade educational toys and equipment the children use due to their extensive everyday use.

We are seeking assistance from the general public and local businesses who are able to help with donations with any of the following items:

Dress ups: junior hi-vis jackets, hard hats, overalls, play costumes;

Sports: basketballs, soccer balls, tennis balls, footballs, skipping ropes, hula hoops, mini trampoline;

Vehicles: matchbox cars, little boats, trucks, aeroplanes, trains, motorbikes, wooden trains and trains set, tractors;

Animals and wildlife: Replica Australian animals, plastic bugs, butterflies, spiders, dinosaurs, horses, sea animals, farm animals, bug catchers, magnifying glasses;

Kitchen: Plastic/wooden shop/kitchen equipment, pretend food, cooking utensils;

Construction: Wooden blocks, Duplo, Lego;

Dolls: Doll prams, doll cradles, dolls house, dolls furniture, Barbies;

Puzzles: peg puzzles, floor puzzles, large 1000 piece puzzles;

Puppets; hand puppets, marionettes;

Garden tools: mini shovels, spades, rakes, straw brooms, watering cans, plastic wheelbarrows;

Hardware equipment: PVC and bamboo piping, fake grass, water trough.

If you are able to assist in any way please feel free to drop off any of these items to our office locations below.

Cire Children’s Services appreciates in advance all support and donations received and know that our children will value receiving new toys and equipment to play, learn and discover.

Yarra Junction: 2463 Warburton Hwy, Yarra Junction.
Mt Evelyn: 20 Old Hereford Rd, Mt Evelyn.
Please contact 1300 835 235 if you have any queries.
Local collection is also available. Please contact us to discuss.

If you would like to know more about Cire Children’s Services please call 5967 2776 (Yarra Junction) or 9736 1918 (Mt Evelyn).

Community programs – getting students involved

Community programs are an important part of our Yarra Valley Community School’s (YVCS) curriculum. Students gain transferable skills that can help them in the future and also play a part of giving back to the community they live in. Last year the Senior and Intermediate students from YVCS polished up their entrepreneurial skills by creating and running several social enterprise projects. The students developed their own small businesses which they ran in the local community. Money was raised which was then donated to causes that they felt could use their support. These social enterprises included:

School canteen
Car wash ‘Oh my gosh it’s a car wash’
Making and selling beauty products
Growing garden seedlings for selling
Teaching basic computer skills to grade 6 Steiner School students
Providing a landscaping service that included mowing and gardening for elderly and disabled members of the community
Native animals mentoring project – students helped build boxes for the animals with boys from the Mt Evelyn Primary school

These businesses proved to be a great success with funds being raised to help orphans in Bali and a donation to Anchor to support young people dealing with homelessness. They also used some of the funds to pay for their own year 12 graduation dinner.

On Monday 22nd of February they had a visit from Heidi Tucker (CEO) and Lisa Stockheim from Anchor. The students were presented with a certificate of appreciation and a thank you letter for our donation. Lisa had a great discussion with the students about the causes of homelessness and the services that Anchor provides. They also asked how the students would like the money spent. By engaging with the students and having them take part in the decision making it was decided that the money would be spent on food. The students felt that food was the best choice as it would benefit the most number of people. Several of the students were quite disappointed that the funding around homelessness is so inadequate and said they wanted to help more in the future.

“What an inspiration these students are, most coming from disadvantaged backgrounds themselves and their main goal is to help others – we are very grateful for being a part of the 2015 program and look forward to 2016, keep up the great work” Heidi Tucker – CEO Anchor

“The students felt great about being able to help people in need and gained a lot of skills that they can add to their resumes and help them get employment.” Mark Hunt – YVCS Coordinator

“This is totally awesome being able to donate to these great causes.” Sean – VCAL student  (in image above)
The experiences gained through these community programs have helped the students prepare the projects for 2016. Due to the success of last year’s social enterprises some of the same projects will make a return along with some new ideas.

The Social Enterprise Project is supported by the Victorian Government.

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This isn’t the first time the students have raised money for people in need, check out what they did to raise funds for a Kenya orphanage last year.
YVCS Students making a difference
YVCS Students making a difference part 2

If you would like to know more about our youth education programs click here.