Meet Karen Germon - Westfield Local Heroes 2021
Giving children a suitcase of hope
Hope in A Suitcase
Innovative. Dedicated. Leader
Karen is extremely passionate about giving vulnerable children and young people entering foster care a sense of self-worth, dignity and hope.
As a foster carer, Karen was heartbroken to see how many children and youths were removed from their homes with nothing but the clothes on their back or a few items shoved into a plastic bag.
Determined to give them a sense of self-worth, she established the Queensland arm of Hope in a Suitcase Australia, a non-profit that provides children and young people entering care with a suitcase filled with brand-new pyjamas, clothing and toiletries, a book, small toys or activities and a comfort item, such as a soft toy.
Karen’s greatest reward is hearing case workers tell of young faces lighting up with joy after realising the beautiful new items are all theirs and come from a community that cares about them.
Hope in a suitcase partners with foster care agencies and case workers to deliver suitcases to the children.
Karen is grateful to be nominated as a Westfield Local Hero. “Raising awareness of Hope in a Suitcase will help us have an even greater impact in our community. We are passionate about giving hope, love and joy to vulnerable children who are going through traumatic circumstances beyond their control,” 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. Hope in a Suitcase will use its funds to pay for much-needed storage facilities for 12 months and cover the cost of 60 to 70 suitcases.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here