Christmas is a time for family, for friends and for thinking of others. That means it is Christmas every day of the year at the St. Kilda Mums NFP, which distributes cleaned and recycled baby and children’s goods to families in need.  Interchange Outer East is proud to have been associated with this amazing organisation for yet another year, with our adult service participants working passionately on getting goods ready for redistribution for SKM.

Matt Howard, IOE Boronia Day Services Coordinator writes:

‘To celebrate another year, I just wanted to send out a special message in regards to the connection that Interchange Outer East has with the St Kilda Mums (SKM) organisation.

As most of you are aware we have had a successful partnership with this wonderful organisation for almost four years now. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of the program throughout, first as a program worker and today, as the program coordinator, I went out to see the new St Kilda Mums headquarters in Clayton. Wow, what a great set-up. SKM has come a long way in the last decade and the Clayton premises will ensure this amazing community service will continue for years to come.

I am writing this to share how proud I am of our groups for the huge progress they have made over the past several years. After speaking with Felicity (operations manager) and Jessica (CEO/Founder) at SKM today its incredible how much this program has been valued and continues to be valued, not to mention all the skills our participants continue to develop whilst engaged in this program.

I would like to acknowledge and thank all IOE staff who have shared involvement with this program over the years. We truly appreciate everybody’s ongoing support.’

To which Felicity Schafter, Adult Program Intensives and Prep4Work Coordinator, added:

‘St Kilda Mums has been a huge success in so very many ways – we have had participants from all the day service sites as well at students form Eastern Ranges School, the SLES guys and a multitude of other participants and volunteers pass through SKM,  learning valuable skills, taking pride in their work and knowing they are contributing positively to the lives of families and parents of young children who are facing  significant challenges.

As we  acknowledge this amazing connection over the past four years, I think special thanks need to go to IOE’s Cathy Handy  – who along with myself headed out to meet Jessie (SKM’s CEO) for the very first time all those years ago to discuss how we could make this relationship work.  That’s when we asked the question of how we could help them and be of service.

Special thanks must also go to IOE’s Sara Alcorn and Shelly Stevens (along with their amazing volunteers) who have worked so hard and driven this program in recent years. The passion and commitment they have shown to growing this relationship is invaluable and ongoing. From small beginnings the SKM and IOE relationship has continued to expand and flourish  – thanks to all who have spread the word, donated time, donated baby and children’s goods and  overall been supporters of this program. You are awesome!’

A valuable and mutually rewarding partnership which we intend to nurture for years to come. Keep spreading that Christmas cheer throughout the coming year!