We touch base with our 2019 Westfield Local Hero, Donna Jordan.
Kitchen conversation leads to healing action
Compassionate. Dedicated. Energetic
We check in with one of our 2019 Westfield Local Heroes, Donna Jordan from The Hands Off Foundation.
Donna Jordan came up with the idea for the Hands Off Foundation during a kitchen table conversation about helping survivors of sexual assault to heal.
Under her leadership, the foundation has grown into a charity that provides tangible emergency support in the form of care packs with necessary items and shopping vouchers. It also provides survivors with opportunities that support their healing.
Donna coordinates fundraising and works with the Centre Against Sexual Assault to ensure each client receives what they feel will help them the most, not what has been selected for them.
“Beneficiaries include children, men and women of all ages and backgrounds” says Donna.
"The last 12 months has not played out the way the Hands Off Foundation would have liked, but we have adapted well and somewhat better than others, thanks to the generosity of Westfield. Having $10,000 to help us through these tough, and in a charity sense, uncertain times was invaluable."
"We have still been able to help survivors in the same meaningful way we always have and for that we are extremely proud and grateful."
Donna has let us know that from the $10,000 grant the Hands Off Foundation received approximately $6,000 has already been disseminated to survivors of sexual assault and/or family violence.
"These funds have been used to help provide vouchers for goods and services, as well as wonderful care packs to assist during tough times (both inside and outside of COVID-19 restrictions!), some examples of what we have been able to provide to these survivors include Westfield gift vouchers (which they can use for clothing, food, school supplies, toys, etc), personal care items, laptops & technology, journals, children toys and teddy bears and much more."
As many others, the Hands Off Foundation has had to adapt to changes since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. All meetings are now held via Zoom, with care packs and vouchers being mailed directly to clients, or to their counsellors. Hands Off Foundation has increased their online presence as they can no longer hold fundraising activities in the traditional sense.
"Given the current circumstances, we expect that request for assistance (for family violence especially) will increase. We plan to use the remaining funds to continue to fulfil request as they come through, to assist survivors through these troubling times, as well as through their own healing processes."
"The Westfield Local Heroes Grant has allowed us to assist people during their most traumatic and upsetting experiences, and will continue to allow us to do so in the future."
Learn more about the Hands Off Foundation and how you can help them make a difference.
Voting is now open for the 2020 Westfield Local Heroes program until September 14. Vote now.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.