Sally Beard  - Westfield Local Heroes 2020

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Sally Beard - Westfield Local Heroes 2020

Comforting displaced children

Backpacks 4 Vic Kids
Passionate. Dedicated. Giving.

Sally Beard leads a dedicated team of volunteers that provides much-needed comfort and dignity for vulnerable children entering foster or emergency care.

These children are often taken into care at a moment’s notice with nothing more than the clothes they are wearing.

Sally was outraged when she heard many wait up to eight hours in soiled clothing or hospital clothing while waiting for a safe place to go.

She founded the non-profit Backpacks 4 Vic Kids to provide these children with a backpack of essentials and comfort items.

The backpacks contain clean, appropriate clothing, new underwear and comfort items like a blankets, soft toy and a torch.

Other items in the pack include toiletries, stationery, a book, new socks and what Sally calls extra love items such as games, lunchboxes or warm gloves.

“Each pack has several hand-made items like woollen blankets so the children can literally wrap themselves in the love of someone who cares,” Sally says.

“My goal is to ensure the displaced children have clean, appropriate clothing, toiletries and a few belongings of their own.”

Sally and her volunteers also prepare junior packs, which include baby items such as nappies, formula and a bottle.

“We have now delivered over 7000 packs to displaced children state-wide,” she says.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Backpacks 4 Vic Kids will use its grant to put together 200 ME packs.

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here

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Please note, due to COVID-19 certain centre services are currently unavailable