Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Scarves for Bushfire Victims

I belong to many online groups (mostly through Yahoo). Jan Macfayden belongs to one such group. Jan was on Channel 9 last week because she is co-ordinating a large distribution of quilts to Victorian Bushfire victims. Many, many people have donated quilts, fabric, blocks, backing fabric and so on to the cause, a quilt being a nice warm cuddle for people who have lost everything or who are so traumatised by what they have seen and heard. So when Jan mentioned that a scarf or beanie would be appreciated as it's getting pretty cold down there, the backlash from some quarters was - well - suprising in a rather disappointing way. The worst comment was this, "'People in Kinglake can afford to buy a hat and a scarf, I believe more than half of the bushfire appeal money has been given out. Also I believe that everyone who has lost their home has been assigned a case manager to work with them to help them. They would surely be able to organise some funds or vouchers to enable them to buy items needed. Unfortunately there are people who don't want anything that isn't handed to them on a silver platter or free."
Well Jan has posted a response on her blog which basically outlines the reality of the situation - but is it really that difficult to imagine that people who have been through such a dreadful experience might be suffering from stress, anxiety, sleeplessness, a sense of hopelessness and despair, depression and so on and are struggling with all sorts of stuff?
The theoretical assignation of a case worker does not mean that you have an one-on-one, 24/7 personal assistant to help get your life back together. Anyone who has ever had to contend with our woefully inadequate and underfunded social security system on behalf of themselves or another person will know how slow moving and time consuming it can be.
Even typing this makes me cranky. I just hope the silly woman who wrote this never has to experience the total loss and devestation that those in Kinglake and other areas have.
I for one was excited to know that all that wool I bought in a end of winter, "gosh aren't they fabulous and wow so cheap!" frenzy will find a home around the neck of someone who needs a little bit of a cheering up present.
So here are some I prepared earlier - for such a time as this.......

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