A personal journey of triumph over adversity has been the driving force for a community project that is making kids smile.
Kirrawee’s Danielle Lucas has taken inspiration from her past and turned it into a hopeful future for children of domestic violence.
Ms Lucas and friend Jan Klianis have launched Care 4 Kids – an initiative that aims to provide simple yet effective therapy for kids who may be in a vulnerable situation.
The idea is to pack and distribute backpacks that contain items children can enjoy – colouring books, pencils, lollies and bubbles.
A total of 230 packs, which are self-funded, have already been donated to Miranda Police to distribute to other local commands and Sutherland Court.
“Care Packs will give children something positive to focus on and to show them someone cares,” Ms Lucas said.
“It’s about showing kids some kindness in the community, and enables the police to do their work with families while children enjoy some basic activities.”
She said the packs were in memory of her mother.
“I grew up in a family that had a man thinking it was alright to beat his wife,” she said.
“When I was 12 mum suffered a massive stroke, and my whole world fell apart. I was no longer a child...I grew up overnight, and was placed in foster care.”
Ms Lucas said she saw a gap in domestic violence support.
“I found there was nothing that seemed to be targeted for children as well as women, and domestic violence is so prevalent in the Shire,” she said.
She says her family’s support has been her “rock”, and she hopes to raise money for more care packs at a garage sale from 8am – 2pm on Saturday, September 24 at 269 Willarong Road, Caringbah South.