Imagine if you will, being tucked up in bed. Feeling sleepy, wondering what the new day ahead might bring, hoping it will be better than the other days. Because life at home is hard. There’s always lots of shouting, Mummy gets upset a lot and it makes you sad. Suddenly, without warning, you are woken up, taken out of your bed and you and your Mummy are taken away by some nice kind people who tell you things will be better tomorrow after all. In fact, every day will be better now.
You arrive at an unfamiliar but kind and welcoming place. The nice kind lady said it’s called a refuge. Wiping the sleep from your eyes you see a bedroom for you, a safe bed for you to sleep in. There’s no shouting here, it’s warm and feels safe. On your bed you see a bag and you are told it’s just for you. The lady said it’s called a Buddy Bag, which you like the sound of. Your family could do with a Buddy right now. Clambering over to the bed, you open the bag and find lots of goodies. It’s like Christmas but better. The first thing you pull out of the bag is a teddy bear. He’s soft and cuddly and you immediately hold him tight to you feeling his warmth and love. There’s a card with him addressed to Mum which you hand to her, seeing how relieved she looks being out of the scary house. There are new pyjamas in there too, a toothbrush, a hairbrush. You suddenly realise that all you have right now is the clothes you arrived in, no favourite toy, nothing. The nice kind lady says it’s ok – all these things in this bag are just for you, packed by people who care and want you to be safe. These are yours to keep, forever.
Mummy opens the card. It has nice kind words in it to make her feel better, to make her feel like things are going to be ok now. To make you all feel safe and know that you have a new chance at a better life, away from harm. Away from your scary house.
Each year, this is what 48,000 children entering emergency accommodation. That’s a big number don’t you think? That’s 48,000 scared and bewildered children aged between birth to 16 years old who are taken into refuges to escape a life of abuse. Of pain. Of fear. And the Buddy Bags you just read about? Well, that’s where we come in. Since 2015, we, and a whole group of fantastic volunteers have packed an amazing 18,838 Buddy Bags to help children and parents who desperately need a Buddy.
Here at the Buddy Bag Foundation, we have just completed our 100th bag pack. That’s 100 times a group of us have come together and packed, with a whole lot of love, packing 180 bags each time. 100 times people from all walks of life have reached out to make a difference to these children. 100 times the love, warmth and care from every single volunteer is clear to see.
Let’s face it, the majority of us are so lucky. We have a roof over our head, we have food on the table for our families. We live safely, domestic violence is something we read about or see on the news. We are the lucky ones.
So, how can you get involved? There are so many ways! You can join our social media platforms and attend one of our regular bag packs. You can fundraise, anything from a coffee morning to a bungee jump – whatever you want to do to help raise vital funds. Each bag costs £25 and every single penny of donations goes directly into these bags. You can get involved with your business, host your own bag pack, become involved as a corporate organisation which not only creates fantastic exposure for your business but helps those in direct need. You can choose us as your charity of the year and come up with some fantastic fundraising ideas, let us know!