A labour of love

Coming together for the kids

Brandenburger was so positively overwhelmed by people wanting to donate...

When Cuddle Bundles decided to send packages for babies in Israel, they never dreamed they’d get the response they received. Overnight, they exceeded their target for donations of both money and goods.

When the situation began to unfold in Israel, Michele Brandenburger from Cuddle Bundles reached out to Althea Gold at SmartAID to ask if a container was being sent to Israel. Gold gave Brandenburger a list of what the children required and a call-out was sent to the community.

Immediately, three businesses came on board. One company offered to donate all the sleeping bags and babywear for the babies aged 0-12 months, another provided the winter tops and leggings for all the 1-2-year-olds, and a third offered all the blankets requested. On top of this, an enormous quantity of adult blankets and oodies were donated, which were also needed and hugely appreciated by SmartAID and Thread Together for the adult Israeli families they were supporting in this same shipment. Fifty handmade blankets from the knitting ladies of Maroubra Synagogue were included as well. Not to mention, Brandenburger said, the incredible amount of financial donations offered by the community.

Brandenburger was so positively overwhelmed by people wanting to donate, she put out another message the following morning saying they would not be taking any more at that time. “We didn’t want to take money from people that wasn’t going to be used for exactly the cause they were donating for,” she explained to The AJN. It’s targeted, tangible help.

Brandenburger said they were also overwhelmed with people offering to pack the boxes.

Packing, she said, was very emotional as was watching the Cuddle Bundle volunteers band together to get everything done. Brandenburger said she even had one volunteer running around Bondi Junction sourcing final pieces with the leftover money.

“She had to rush between shops because none of the shops had the full quantities we needed,” she laughed. “It was really a labour of love. One volunteer even provided the garage for us to pack, and everyone ensured that everything was boxed, packaged, and recorded for customs in one morning to meet the deadline.”

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