Tag Archives: donation

Heart Kids QLD Fundraiser

Blue Hearts - My Little Pixels

Hearts Are Shining (photo credit Anna Jane – My Little Pixels)

I was approached by one of my lovely customers who wanted to see if I could assist a friend of hers with some fundraising for HeartKids QLD.


HeartKids QLD

February is Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Month, and here is what Sarah has to say:

“Heart Kids is an organisation with different offices all around Australia and I myself am a Heart Kid. I was born with Pulmonary Atresia and had my first open heart surgery at 36 hours old. I have since had 2 open heart surgeries to replace this valve as I have grown. I am currently waiting for a date for the 3rd valve replacement (and it may have to be a double valve).

Heart Kids is the first port of call for all families that have a CHD child born expectedly or unexpectedly. They are there to support the parents through the very traumatic and emotionally draining period. They are there to support the parents during the baby stages and surgeries dates.

As us Heart Kids get older they do special events each Christmas with a large Christmas party and they also do a Teen Camp in Jan for teenagers with CHD – as it is hard to be a teenager, let along a teenager with health issues. So this is a great networking weekend for all teenagers with CHD. I am still friends with people who I met on my camp when I was 17.”

Valentine's Red Heart Pendant. Sterling Silver Modern Contemporary Drop Pendant.

The fundraiser is to be held on Saturday 28th February at 10.00 am at 21 Luckie Crescent, Tivoli. There is a $5 door charge with a door prize. Raffle tickets are available, as well as an Intimo and PartyLite party to help raise funds. This will be followed by a $2 sausage sizzle.

Kids are welcome with a $2 door charge with their own special door prize. For all kids there will be a coloring in competition (free to enter), and free face painting. There is also a great play area and a jumping castle for them to enjoy.

Please RSVP to yarhams85@gmail.com by the 21st Feb (to provide Sarah with numbers for catering and face painting.)

I have donated a $50 gift voucher to be raffled, and I am pleased to be able to support this worthy cause!


Manly Beach Panorama Landscape (photo credit Hamish Ta-mé)

Manly Beach Panorama Landscape (photo credit Hamish Ta-mé)

UNICEF is the United Nations Children’s Fund. UNICEF’s vision is of a world where the basic rights of every child will be met.

Unicef Banner

UNICEF works in over 190 countries to promote and protect the rights of children. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, clean water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and HIV.

Every child deserves these basic provisions, and I’m proud to support UNICEF this month with 10% of all The Silver Forge sales.

Ombre Blue Czech Glass and Sterling Silver Earrings

Head to The Silver Forge shop now for a browse, and see how you can help!

Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors

Steve Irwin – a man of passion and integrity, who did his utmost to change the way the world views wildlife. His tireless work for his worthy cause and his legendary enthusiasm have always captured my heart, and the hearts of millions of us all around the world.

Irwin, Terri - Steve and Me

I read ‘Steve and Me’ a while back, written by Steve’s wife Terri; as well as being a great and moving read it further increased my admiration for both Steve and Terri and their wonderful work, and inspired me to do something – however small – to help. Without wildlife, we are nothing, and the conservation of nature is incredibly important.

Wildlife Warriors

Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors are carrying on Steve’s legacy. Wildlife Warriors believe that people, wildlife and habitat should be able to survive and prosper without being detrimental to the existence of each other. Their objectives are:

To protect and enhance the natural environment
To provide information and education to the public and raise awareness of wildlife issues
To undertake biological research
To research, recommend and act in the protection of threatened or endangered species.
To enter into cooperative arrangements with like-minded organisations

Apple Green Czech Glass Tube and Sterling Silver Earrings

I am proud to support Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors this month, by donating 10% of sales from The Silver Forge. Shop up and help save the planet!



{title photo credit – Guillaume Blanchard}

The Fred Hollows Foundation

Eye of the Beholder (photo credit Bianca de la Torre - Gisel Photography)

Eye of the Beholder (photo credit Bianca de la Torre – Gisel Photography)

I chose The Fred Hollows Foundation as The Silver Forge’s worthy cause for January. The Foundation is inspired by the work of the late Professor Fred Hollows (1929–1993).
 Fred was an eye doctor, a skilled surgeon of international renown and a social justice activist. He was committed to improving the health of Indigenous Australians and to reducing the cost of eye health care and treatment in developing countries.

Fred Hollows Foundation

An estimated 32.4 million people around the world today are blind – four out of five don’t have to be. Simple interventions, such as inexpensive medication and surgery, can restore people’s sight, productivity and livelihoods, giving lasting benefits for individuals, their families and whole communities.

Fred Hollows

Half of global blindness is caused by cataracts – a clouding of the lens of the eye that can be treated by a simple surgical procedure – and the World Bank has identified cataract surgery as one of the most cost-effective of all public health interventions. Cataracts affect both the young and old. The Foundation focuses on the comprehensive treatment of cataract blindness, but they also tackle other causes of blindness, including trachoma and refractive error. Since its formation in 1992 The Foundation has helped restore sight to well over 1 million people. What a marvellous gift!

Orange Melon Czech Glass and Sterling Silver Dangle Earrings

You can donate directly to The Fred Hollows Foundation here – or make a purchase from The Silver Forge shop and 10% of everything you buy during January will be donated to The Fred Hollows Foundation on your behalf. Thank you, and happy shopping!

Barnardos Australia

Dreaming In The Rain (photo credit Aga Farrell)

Dreaming In The Rain (photo credit Aga Farrell)

When I was a child, we used to get books through our school from the Scholastic Book Club – oh, the bliss of choosing books, and their happy arrival some weeks later! (This was obviously the start of what would later become my love of online shopping 🙂 )

The King of the Barbareens

One of the books I chose, and have loved and re-read many times over the years, was ‘The King of the Barbareens’ by Janet Hitchman. It is Janet’s autobiography of her childhood in foster care in the early 1900’s. Towards the end of a childhood in and out of various foster homes, Janet was placed in a Barnardos’ Home. Janet’s story is fascinating and touching – a really good read. Her time at Barnardos always stayed in my mind, and I have chosen Barnardos Australia as The Silver Forge’s worthy cause for this month.

Barnardos Logo

The Barnardos website says: “Dr Barnardo was born in Dublin in 1845 and originally studied medicine in order to become a missionary in China. However, while a student in London he worked part-time in a ‘Ragged School’ and became aware of the poverty and homeless children in that city.

On realising that one of his students, ten year old Jim Jarvis had no family or home Barnardo asked the boy to show him the conditions under which he lived. Jim showed him Stepney Street and Dr Barnardo became aware of the terrible living conditions of these often young children. He estimated that there were 30,000 homeless children living on the streets of the West End.

Barnardo originally opened a mission for the children but was given donations to buy two cottages, which allowed him to establish the ‘East End Juvenile Mission’.

Barnardo abandoned his missionary plans in China in 1870 when MP Samuel Smith offered him one thousand pounds to work with the homeless. Barnardo rented a house at 18 Stepney Causeway and this became his first boys home. The house took 25 boys but many others had to be turned away because of lack of money and space. One of the boys turned away was 11 year old ‘Carrots’ who died of cold and hunger some days after. Barnardo decided that no other child should die this way and declared that “no destitute boy or girl ever be refused admission”.

In 1873 Barnardo married and opened a home for girls at Mossford Lodge. Ten years later Barnardo had 1,000 children in his care. A second Home, Leopold House, was opened in London, followed by Homes in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Newcastle and Liverpool. All Homes were open to children regardless of race or creed.

Barnardo began to foster children out to families and during his lifetime arranged foster care for over 4,000 children. He also worked with children with disabilities. He opened a small hospital in Stepney Street and the Children’s Fold in Ilford. These were followed by Homes in Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Barnardos’ emphasis on education and training led to a search for opportunities in the colonies. In 1882 the first Barnardos boys sailed for Canada. In 1883, a party of eight boys left Barnardo’s Stepney Home to start a new life in Australia.

Lack of suitable supervision during the long voyage delayed the immigration program – but Barnardos maintained contact with Australia by sending a party of ‘Musical Boys’ to tour Australia and New Zealand in 1891-92. Apart from bringing tangible proof of the work of Barnardos, they also raised 10,000 pounds. The money raised from this tour and a subsequent tour in 1902-03 was used to build the Australasian Hospital at the Girls’ Village at Barkingside. Thus, the link between the two nations was forged.”

Dr Barnardo

Today, Barnardos Australia helps to stop child abuse. They find safe homes for abused children and young people, work with families to prevent abuse and use our knowledge to improve the future of disadvantaged Australian children. 10% of all sales from The Silver Forge shop for this month will be donated to Barnardos Australia to help with their valuable work assisting abused and vulnerable children. Do what you can to help!

Sparkly Green Handblown Glass Bubble and Sterling Silver Earrings

Meals on Wheels

'Eat' (photo credit birdseyephotography)

‘Eat’ (photo credit birdseyephotography)

Since its inception over 60 years ago, Meals on Wheels has been a household name here in Australia. While age and disability may reduce some people’s capacity to get out and about, Meals on Wheels helps make it possible for them to stay in their homes (where most people are happiest), and maintain some independence.

Meals on Wheels

Delivery of nutritious meals, social interaction and regular visits ensure a clients’ wellbeing and can help people live the lives they choose.

Meals on Wheels - Lunch

Each year, over 14.8 million meals are delivered by more than 78,700 ‘Meals on Wheels’ volunteers to about 53,000 recipients Australia wide in cities, regional and rural areas.

Celadon Green Faceted Czech Glass and Sterling Silver Dragon's Scale Earrings

This month, I will be donating 10% of all The Silver Forge sales to Meals on Wheels. So pop over to The Silver Forge shop now, treat yourself, AND do your bit to help this worthy cause!

Rural Fire Brigades Association

Bush Fire Silhouette (art by Wendy Sinclair)

Bush Fire Silhouette (art by Wendy Sinclair)

I recently picked up a copy of Ian Mannix’s ‘Great Australian Bushfire Stories’, and I found myself unable to put it down until I had read it cover to cover. The real and moving stories of everyday people’s experiences with bushfire that are contained within it affected me more deeply than any book I’ve read for a long time. In particular, it was a bizzare experience to read about the 2003 Canberra bushfires. I lived in one of the suburbs on the outskirts of Canberra at the time, and vividly remember the blackened skies and billowing smoke, and the preparations I was directed to make to my home in case the fire swung around and headed our way. I was lucky, unlike so many others, but it brought home to me what a dangerous and unpredictable country we live in, and how circumstances can change in an instant, uncontrollable flames spreading (literally) like wildfire, threatening (and taking) lives and property mindlessly. Reading Ian’s book brought a new dimension to the madness and terror that being caught up in a bushfire must be filled with.

Great Australian Bushfire Stories

We are extremely lucky that we have a valiant and heroic team of volunteers, who risk their own lives to protect those of others. Here in Queensland, our rural fire brigades are made up of more than 1,400 volunteer brigades, and more than 34,000 volunteers (both firefighters and support members). The Rural Fire Brigade Association of Queensland also support the 2,600 rural fire wardens who are an integral and highly valued part of the rural fire fighting movement – many of them volunteer firefighters as well.


These volunteers protect their local and wider communities: not only by fighting bushfires, but also attending house fires, assisting with flood preparation and clean up; providing support in cyclone preparation and clean up; and helping the community through hazard reduction burning, and delivering the ‘Prepare, Act, Survive’ message. Brigades work closely with other agencies such as local councils, SES, Department of Main Roads and Forestry and this close working relationship helps local brigades meet local community needs.

i made this for you felt friend

This month, while contemplating which worthy cause I could support, I was fortuitously inspired by my friend from the lovely MadeIt shops ‘i made this for you‘ and ‘..and then some‘, who has had her own experiences with bushfire, and I’m glad to say The Silver Forge will be donating 10% of all sales to the Rural Fire Brigade Association of Queensland. Please help support this worthy cause, either directly or by purchasing something from The Silver Forge shop, won’t you!

Long Red Czech Glass Sterling Silver Sleek Fresh Drop Earrings

Heart and Lung Transplant Trust Raffle

I saw a request from Camille, my fellow MadeIt seller from the gorgeous CurlyPops, asking for donations for a raffle and trivia night being held for the Heart and Lung Transplant Trust. Camille has recently undergone a double lung transplant, and I was happy to do something, however small to help by donating a pair of earrings.

Fucshia Pink Czech Glass Sterling Silver Modern Contemporary Drop Earrings

Almost $2500 was raised, which is enough to cover the accommodation costs for one transplant recipient and their carer (from country Victoria or interstate) who are required to live close to the hospital for 3 months post transplant. Well done, Camille and the team! Do consider giving support if you can, and I strongly urge everyone who is not already signed up to get yourselves on the Organ Donor Register.Talk to your loved ones today. Maybe your legacy could be that you save some lives.

Knitting for a cause – Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital Ethiopia

Silhouetted Tree - Ethiopia

Silhouetted Tree – Ethiopia (photo credit April Lahti)

I don’t quite recall how I came across the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital (on Facebook I think) but the more I read, the more the story of the Hamlins and their fine work touched me. In our western world, we take it for granted that we have access to medical facilities, in particular obstetric facilities should something go not quite right while we are giving birth. (Both my children were delivered by emergency caesarean section, so I know how that can be!)

Hospital By The River

Catherine's Gift

It wasn’t until I read ‘Hospital By The River‘ and ‘Catherine’s Gift’, written about Catherine and Reg Hamlin’s life in Ethiopia, that I started to really understand what life might be like if I had not been able to have those caesareans. For thousands of Ethiopian women, their lives are torn apart when they have difficulty in birthing their babies. First, their baby dies. As if that wasn’t more than anyone should have to bear, as a result of days of labour with the baby pressing down into the pelvis, blood supply is cut off to the walls of the vagina, and tissue dies, resulting in holes that are known as obstetric fistulae. The contents of the bladder and bowel leak uncontrollably through these holes. The woman is usually ostracised by her village because of the leakage and the smell; often her husband leaves her, and sometimes, there is nerve damage to the legs and feet, making walking difficult. Also, from lying still over many weeks in an attempt to stop the leaking, she can suffer atrophy and tightening of the tendons making it impossible to walk.

Catherine Hamlin

Catherine Hamlin and her late husband, Reg, have dedicated their lives to assisting these long-suffering women, not just by providing life-changing surgery to repair the fistulae, but by helping these women to make a dignified return to their lives; and also by providing them with ongoing support to ensure that they are able to give birth safely next time.

Hamlin Shawl Knitting

One of the items that the women are provided with during their stay at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital is a new shawl. My mother, sister and I are in the process of knitting one to send. Acrylic yarn is required so that the women may wash their shawls in the river and have them dry quickly. Information about sizing, a basic pattern, and when and where to send your blanket can be found here.

I highly recommend you read either the books I mentioned above or have a look at the website to see the story of these wonderful people, and of some of the courageous women who suffer so much and sometimes travel hundreds of miles in order to have the operation which will make them whole again. Donate if you can, knit or crochet if you can. Every little bit helps!

This month, 10% of all Silver Forge sales will be donated to this very worthy cause. Head to The Silver Forge shop now, and see if you can help out, and get yourself something lovely at the same time!



‘Winged Grey and Gold Horse’ (articulated decoration and photograph by Emma Kidd)


Pegasus ACT – Riding for the Disabled is a not for profit community organisation situated in Canberra, Australia.

Started by local horsewoman Bid Williams in around 1973, and having an interesting history for the last 40 years, Pegasus provide equestrian activities for people with disabilities with the help and support of volunteers and the local community.

Their programs assist both children and adults, physically, emotionally and socially. Apart from being fun, horse riding helps to improve co-ordination, balance, muscle development and fitness.  It also boosts personal confidence, self-esteem, communication skills, leadership and trust.


Pegasus (photograph by Heide Smith)

Pegasus are unfortunately struggling with a financial crisis, and may be unable to stay open past September 2013 unless they receive an increase in public donations, and a much needed boost to their funding from the Government.

Being from Canberra myself, I was happy to find that an Australian Etsy team I’m part of are doing some fundraising for this worthy cause. I will be listing two pairs of earrings, the proceeds from which will be donated to Pegasus.

Black Fire Earrings. Sterling Silver Fire Polished Czech Glass Modern Contemporary Earrings.


Head on over to the Etsy fundraising page, and check out the earrings and all the other items that are being sold as part of the fundraising campaign. Who knows what handmade treasure you might find, and be able to purchase to help?

Pink Czech Glass and Sterling Silver Earrings

Thanks, Pegasus, for your tireless and wonderful work!