impact is a completely volunteer charity committed to making a difference to Victorian women and children fleeing extreme violence at home.
Because impact has no paid staff or premises, with only incorporated fees and public liability insurance as its main costs, well more than 98 cents in every dollar donated is directed to fulfilling impact’s mission – a statistic of which impact is very proud. impact receives no government funding but does have DGR tax-deductibility status.
impact’s communication vehicles cost nothing: word-of-mouth and social media.
Starting as an ova of an idea in March 2006, Kathy Kaplan OAM and twelve of her friends sourced donations and, in a friend’s lounge room, packed 100 hampers which were then delivered to a number of metropolitan Safe Houses which support domestic violence victims.
impact has grown organically and, just last April, in readiness for Xmas 2019, nearly 500 volunteers packed almost 2000 Bags of Love, as we now call them, in Glen Eira College, for the women expected to be in metropolitan crisis refuges hiding from their abusive partners. We also packed 90 large bags of goods for case workers to distribute on an as-needs basis.
This year, our planned Mother's Day Wrap & Pack Day could not take place due to the COVID19 lockdown. Despite that, we managed to pack and distribute 1600 Bags of Love.
As well as its planned outcomes, impact has successfully brought together men, women and children from a range of cultural and religious communities all of whom leave every agenda outside other than to do something good for someone they don’t know.
An image that will never leave the memory of those who were there a few years ago is that of a hijabi wearing woman working shoulder to shoulder with a tzitzit [fringes], payes [side curls] wearing religious Jewish boy – an image which depicts Australia as it should be.
Because social justice and volunteerism are impact's core values, impact further reinforces this by supplying every child who attends our packing days with a Certificate of Appreciation. But impact doesn't do this directly or via the child’s parent or supervising adult: rather impact writes to the child’s school principal to advise of the child’s involvement and asking them to present the certificate to the child at an assembly.
Bags of Love are what impact started with and they are what impact continues to provide: our initial objective was to provide the women in hiding with those things most of us take for granted.