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Bringing hope to foster children

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Bringing hope to foster children

A Caloundra business with a big heart.

A long-standing Caloundra hairdressing salon is making a difference to the lives of children in the foster system.

Frangipani Cutting Crew has been servicing clients for more than 20 years. Managing director Vicki Barry has always wanted to do something to help children less fortunate and after hearing about charity Hope in a Suitcase Australia, she decided to get on board.

When children enter the foster system, they often have nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Hope in a Suitcase is a not-for-profit organisation that partners with child safety service centres and foster care agencies to bring every child that enters care a new suitcase.

The suitcases are filled to suit age groups from newborn to early teenagers and include essential items such as toiletries, underwear/nappies, clothing, toys and books. Ms Barry has registered her salon as a collection point. Residents can drop off items that go directly to the charity.

“I always wanted to help children in foster care but always had children of my own or worked full time,” she says. “These children are so in need. They get pulled out of homes, often without warning or if they are in danger.

“When I found out about it, I thought this is something I can do to help. Knowing sometimes [children] arrive at a foster carer’s home and they have nothing, it’s a lovely thing to do to be able to fill up a suitcase for them.”

Ms Barry says 95 per cent of her long-term clients are local and their generosity and that of the wider Caloundra community is overwhelming.

“We’ve had people bring whole suitcases in. They’ve gone and bought a suitcase and filled it up for a particular age group. It is so amazing how generous people are.

“We’ve got a list of what is needed and if people want to help, we can give them the list. We say to them next time they are grocery shopping or in Kmart, if they can pick up just one thing it can make a difference.”

Ms Barry hopes the community will continue its generosity.

Monetary donations can be made directly to the charity to fund the purchase of suitcases, and a list of suitable donation items that can be dropped into Frangipani Cutting Crew can be found at hopeinasuitcase.com.au. Frangipani Cutting Crew is at 4/115 Bulcock Street, Caloundra. Phone 5491 2002.

Want to find out how you can continue supporting Caloundra businesses? Grab a copy of Shop Caloundra available on the southern end of the Coast now.

Hope in a Suitcase Sunshine Coast is run by coordinator Desley Grant and a small group of volunteers. Other drop off locations include O’Brien’s Plumbing at Kunda Park, Empowered Family Day Care Service at Caloundra West and Yandina Automotive Repairs.

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