As the mad rush to Christmas approaches we often contact our parents, children, grandchildren and extended family to discuss our plans for Christmas Day. Who is hosting lunch this year? Will lunch be served hot or cold? Are we participating in family Kris Kringle?
But what if the only questions you had to ask yourself was “Where will I be on Christmas Day?”
For women staying at Catherine House, the mixture of emotions is already starting to build and the anxiety increases as the day becomes closer. From now until Christmas, many women will be arriving at our crisis accommodation house. As each day passes, the thoughts of the festive season become more challenging. Hope comes and goes as they desperately search for a place they might be able to call their home in time for Christmas.
Many women at Catherine House are also separated from their children and have the additional stress of wondering “where will they be spending Christmas Day? Will I get to visit them? Can I afford to buy them a small gift just from Mum?”
This is when a sense of shame sets in. The feeling they have failed.
For some, this also means anxiety, shame and guilt simply becomes too much and they stay or return to an unsafe relationship and environment risking their safety and wellbeing just so they can be with their family at Christmas.
Catherine House client “Rose” is currently living in our transitional accommodation and is starting to think about what Christmas will look like for her this year.
Last Christmas Rose was displaced, having left an abusive relationship with no family in Adelaide and three adult children in her European homeland. Moving between friends, she said she felt adrift with no direction, no anchor, and no sense of what home was anymore.
“For two decades I was told I was nothing, and could do nothing, I started to believe it was true. He was a gambler, we lost everything, I lived in my car, my life collapsed around me”. Desperately trying to keep it all together, she broke down.
It took four weeks for her to secure a place in Catherine House’s crisis accommodation.
“I will never, ever, until the day I die, forget the kindness of Chris (Evening Worker) the night I arrived at Catherine House”.
Since coming to Catherine House, Rose has received ongoing professional support from her case worker Deb. “When I came here, I cried and cried, I just couldn’t stop. I will always remember the words Deb said to me. “Rose, tell me all of your problems because now your problems are our problems too”.
Since coming to Catherine House Rose has turned her life around day by day. This year she has taken part in the “My Time, My Life, My Future” education program and has recently started studying a diploma at TAFE.
Christmas this year for Rose will look much brighter. She will be living in her Catherine House unit, a place she can now call home. “For the very first time in my life I can enjoy being on my own and there is huge value in that for me”.
However, the reality for many of the woman staying at Catherine House is that they won’t be able to find suitable housing in time for Christmas like Rose.
This is where we need your help.
You can ensure women staying at Catherine House feel safe, secure and supported. Together, we can show them the regard, care and compassion they deserve to feel – especially at Christmas time. They will know that they have their own place at our Christmas table, they will sit next to another woman who may share similar feelings and challenges and know they are in a safe and secure place and can relax knowing there is food to eat and it will be served by familiar and friendly faces.
They will not be alone knowing for now, Catherine House is their home.
This year you can sit at your Christmas table knowing your support has made this difference to their lives. Please consider making a tax deductible donation to Catherine House this Christmas. Your gift will ensure women living at Catherine House will enjoy a hot Christmas Lunch surrounded by love and support but importantly a safe and secure place to spend their day with their own bedroom on Christmas night.
Your support will also mean that they will have the chance to feel the hope of rebuilding their lives and looking forward to a brighter Christmas next year, just like Rose.
Yes! I would like to Support Catherine House this Christmas
$960 Provides a Hot Lunch on Christmas Day for the 48 women staying in our accommodation
$400 Provides a Hot Lunch for 20 previous clients who will visit us on Christmas Day as they have no where else to go
$219 Provides a case worker to support 4 women through the emotional challenge of Christmas
$100 Allows Catherine House to purchase Christmas Store gift cards for 4 women
$50 Provides new Pyjamas, underwear and slippers for women arriving at Catherine House.
$25 Allows a Catherine House client, who is a mother, to purchase a Christmas gift for her child.
or Download our Donation Form Catherine House
All donations $2.00 are tax deductible.
Give the gift of Choice this Christmas
Christmas can be a rally emotional time for women stating at Catherine House. Apart from being without their own home, they are separated from their family and at times their children. When women are in a position of having limited control over their situation, one of the best gifts we can give them is a gift card, so they can exercise choice and control over purchases they need. They may also wish to use the card to buy a gift for their child, something they know they would love or need. This enables them to participate in the tradition of gifting and to feel empowered rather than down as a result of their situation.
So, give the gift of choice to a woman at Catherine House this Christmas. Gift cards from Coles/Myer, Woolworths, Target, Big W and Kmart are greatly appreciated.
Catherine House is always in need of practical items that can support women when they move into our transitional housing and then back into the community. This provides them with additional support as they start on their pathway to a new beginning.
If you would like to contribute to the hampers we make for Christmas or make one yourself, here are some much needed items:
- Non Perishable Food Items
- Boxed Chocolate
- Movie Tickets
- Writing Pads
- Mindfulness colouring in books/textas
- Massage Vouchers
- Cooking Utensil’s
- Inspiration quotes/Books
If you, your workplace or organisation would like to get together to support the Catherine House Christmas Appeal please contact Fundraising and Events Manager Jaylee Cooper on 08 8232 2282 or email@example.com and we would be more than happy to provide you with more information.
We thank you so very much for your support.