Zonta Club of Bendigo provides donations to its community

The Zonta Club of Bendigo Inc, Australia, made donations to several institutions to to help hospitalized children, unhoused teenagers and those suffering from mental health issues.

Bendigo Health children's ward
The club donated 50 overnight bags to the Bendigo Health children’s ward for children admitted in emergency situations. The hand sewn bags contain travel-sized toiletries and were put together by members and supporters. In the past three years, the club has donated an additional 500 bags to the hospital per year.

“We always try to have tote bags packed and on hand, ready to deliver when the hospital lets us know their children’s ward supply is running low,” she said.Bendigo Health children’s ward nurse unit manager, Deb Forbes, said the packs ensure parents may not have to stress about bringing hygiene products to hospital.“When you are a parent, scrambling to put your very ill or injured child in the back of an ambulance to be rushed to hospital, the last thing you think about is packing your child’s toothbrush and shampoo,” Club President Naidene Parry said.

One bag contains personal necessities such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, a hairbrush and occasionally perfume.

Homeless shelters and mental health aid
The club also made donations through DOXA School, Headspace, and Haven; Home, Safe to make toiletries available for young people who face disadvantage, such as homelessness and mental health issues.

Meanwhile, another effort by the club is also again as its subsidized mental health first aid course returns. Sponsored by UFS Pharmacies, the training is provided by not-for-profit organization Mental Health First Aid Australia and usually costs more than $200. However, the training has been made available by the club for a fee of $25.The mental health first aid course runs for two days and is designed to teach participants how to help people struggling depression, anxiety, psychosis substance use problems, as well as crises such as suicidal thoughts, non-suicidal self-injury and panic attacks.

Goldfields Library Bendigo
On 20 September, the Zonta Club of Bendigo Inc, Australia, presented a copy of its 40-year history to Vivien Newtown of the Goldfields Library Bendigo, who has also purchased two more copies. The public can now borrow "A History of the Zonta Club of Bendigo," with a copy to be kept in the history and archives section of the library.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the history book's publishing schedule and wasn't ready at the club's 40th-anniversary celebration, it was still out on the club's 40th year.

Once members obtained their copies in November 2021, the club's Board decided to donate a copy to the library. It is now available to borrowers, acknowledging all that the Zonta Club of Bendigo had achieved in its first 40 years of service to the local community and Zonta International.