Become someone’s fairy godmother

Have you always wanted to be someone’s fairy godmother?  Well, here is your big chance…

FairyGodmotherProjectIpswich mum Sam Harrison wants your old formal dress or suit to lend / gift to disadvantaged students in Ipswich, to create magical school formals to remember. 

The Fairy Godmother Project (formerly Gift of the Gown Ipswich) was founded from Sam’s own experience as a single mum who struggled to pay for her daughter’s formal dress. Sam believes that many young women (and men) in Ipswich simply cannot afford to attend their school formal.  Sam took inspiration from a similar project on the Gold Coast, Gift of the Gown run by Carol Millar.

Much to her delight, Ipswich non-profit the Hearts & Minds Foundation stepped in and took Sam’s project under its wing, providing a committee of helpers, a shop front and the infrastructure needed to take the initiative to the next level.

The Fairy Godmother Project is about gifting confidence and self worth to these young people, via the gift of a formal dress or suit, shoes and accessories. By donating to The Fairy Godmother Project you are granting a beautiful Cinderella (or Cinderfella) the opportunity to fulfil their school formal dream, and you become his or her fairy godmother! 

How does it work?
You clean out your wardrobe and donate good quality formal dresses and suits to the project.  Ideally these dresses and suits are clean, not stained and in an acceptable condition for the girls/guys to wear immediately.  If you have a dress or suit that needs dry cleaning, you can drop it at Ipswich Dry Cleaners, mention that you’re a fairy godmother and they will dry clean it for a reduced fee of $33 (less than half the usual cost).   Sam says vintage dresses are okay, but to PLEASE avoid donating your puffy sleeved, shoulder padded 80’s number.  

These items are then provided free of charge to anyone in need, or to anyone struggling to afford their school formal. If a family can afford a cash donation, that is certainly appreciated, but not a requirement of the project

Sam says it is a system based on honesty and integrity. If you don’t need the help, please don’t apply. Sam requires school ID to be sure that only year 12 students from the local Ipswich area are being supported. 

Two things in return
All Sam asks is that one day the recipients of The Fairy Godmother Project pay the gesture forward, either by gifting their dress or suit back to the project, or by donating when they’re financially able. Sam loves seeing photos of the formals, and always hopes to share pictures to donors of The Fairy Godmother Project so fairy godmothers can see the joy that they have gifted.

FairyGodmotherThe Fairy Godmother Project is now a registered non-profit through the Hearts & Minds Foundation, and can issue tax deductible receipts for cash donations.  Sam will soon have a shop front for dress and suit fittings upstairs at 156 Brisbane Street, Ipswich (Top of Town Precinct) thanks to the generous support of Steve and Jaye Mallet from Choices Flooring who have offered the space free of charge.

If you’d like to donate a dress, shoes, handbags, accessories or a suit, please send Sam a message via the facebook pageor drop your donation to Ipswich Dry Cleaners at 255 Brisbane Street, Ipswich – the main drop off location. 

Milton State School mum Zinta is also helping collect items.  Drop items to Bayswater Street, Milton in a bag marked Fairy Godmother Zinta for collection. 

On Sunday August 13 The Fairy Godmother Project will be holding its first Ladies’ High Tea fundraising event at the Ipswich Club from 1pm. Head to the facebook page for details. 

A message from Sam
Thank you so much for your support, and for helping fairy tales to come true for so many worthy local teenagers who could do with a helping hand. 

To get involved, visit The Fairy Godmother Project facebook page, send an email or call 0477 909 459.

Related links:

Gift of the Gown – Gold Coast


Courier Mail article – 4 July 2017

Posted in Causes, Community, Pay it forward, Queensland charity, Recycle or upcycle, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Mother’s Day (or any day you need a gift) support Global Sisters

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and if you are looking for a great gift in a hurry, then check out the amazing range of gifts that do good at Global Sisters.

Global Sisters exists to enable women to be financially independent and stand tall.

Founded by Australian social entrepreneur Mandy Richards in 2013, Global Sisters provide a genuine alternative for women who aren’t able to participate in mainstream employment.  Global Sisters work with women across Australia, provide training and coaching, remove start up barriers, and make self-employment a viable option.  Global Sisters are currently working with over 50 Australian women, helping them start a micro business.

Global Sisters do this by providing women with the tools, networks and resources to establish or grow a business – helping with practical business know-how, marketing and sales, microfinance and technology.

Take a look at the wide range of beautiful gifts available on the Global Sister’s online store:

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 9.58.26 AM

Leather wrap – Pewter 
One size fits all stud wrap bracelet handmade from Peacebomb aluminium with leather wrap in pewter and sterling silver adjustable closure. This piece is made by artisans in Laos from Vietnam War-era bombs, plane parts, and aluminium scrap. Each Peacebomb is hand poured and cast in wood and ash moulds.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 10.01.41 AMBoho Earrings
These sweet circle earrings are handmade in Melbourne by Maria Alejandra from Chile. Silver plated with glass and paper, choose from: black and white (featured image), turquoise, blue star, pale blue paisley and pink floral.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 10.03.35 AMFreshwater Pearl Necklace & Earrings
This elegant, handcrafted freshwater pearl necklace and earrings set is made with no less than over 50+ soft white pearls. The hand crocheted wirework on the necklace is a traditional craft out of South America that can be adjusted to style a shorter or longer length necklace. The piece is finished with a fob-style silver plated clasp and was custom made exclusively for the Global Sisters store.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 10.06.25 AMHeartbeat Scarf – Indigo Blue
100% cotton scarf hand dyed with natural Indigo by master dyer Tigidankay Daramy in a Heartbeat pattern. The pattern is created by hand through a system of knots in the fabric. The placing of the knots produces the different patterns. Please note due to the handmade nature of this product, the pattern on each scarf will be unique. Length: 178cm, Width: 51cm

Visit the full Global Sisters business directory here.

Read Cleonie’s story & support her work at
Read Angela’s story & support her work at
Read Jo’s story & support her work at

Shop the full range here, like on facebook, twitter and instagram.

Can’t decide what to buy? Then purchase a gift card and let mum to choose for herself.

Posted in Australian charity, Community, Ethical Shopping, GIVING, KINDNESS, Pay it forward, Social Enterprise | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t give chocolate this easter

This Easter, I would like you to consider a different type of Easter gift, one that does not involve chocolate, well not directly.


The Fig Tree Children is a Brisbane-based charity supporting orphaned and vulnerable children in Sierra Leone. In a country with more than 70% of people living below the poverty line, basic needs such as: food, water, clothing, shoes and medicines often go unmet. Access to education is even more scarce.

The Fig Tree Children work to identify the most at risk and needy children, to meet their basic needs and provide access to education.

Fig Tree kids_Newton

The Fig Tree Children would like to throw an Easter party, for all the kids supported by them, but they need your help!

The Fig Tree Family is made up of 52 sponsored children, 50 children on the sponsorship waiting list, carers and volunteers. Despite The Fig Tree Family being scattered all over the country, there is a deep sense of camaraderie and pride in being a member of that family.

Unfortunately, because of distance, The Fig Tree Family will never meet unless there is an active effort to bring them together. Bringing everyone together for such a treasured celebration will continue to build the community spirit. Reminding everyone that they are not alone, that people far and wide do care about them.

There are two ways you can help:

Jane at The Fig Tree Children is looking for 24 businesses to donate $100 towards the Easter Party Celebration. To donate as an individual or business visit the MyCause crowdfunding campaign.The Excite Media team have kicked off donations and are now offering their expertise and time to the first 24 business to donate $100. Read more here.


Buy a Jungle Critter…

Instead of giving chocolate this Easter, give a cute ‘Jungle Fun Critter’. They are so much fun and children, young and old, love them. Each one is individually hand crafted by a lady in Kenya, which provides her with an income and enables her to send her children to school. As well as this, for each one sold, $10 is donated to The Fig Tree Children, helping orphaned children in Sierra Leone. They last longer than chocolate and is treasured furry friend kids can keep forever.

Order yours here or email Jane, or call Tel: +61 (0)7 3378 7888

Posted in Australian charity, Children, Community, Ethical Shopping, GIVING, KINDNESS, Pay it forward, Social Enterprise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Help them stay – get behind the Asylum Circle crowdfunding campaign

Did you know that there are more than 2,000 people living in Queensland on bridging visas?


A Bridging visa A (BVA) is a temporary visa. It allows you to stay in Australia after your current substantive visa ceases and while your substantive visa application is being processed. It can be granted if you lodge an application in Australia for a substantive visa while you still hold a substantive visa. Learn more about bridging visas here.

Do you feel confused reading that definition?  Understanding what a bridging visa is? Yes me too. Now imagine how you would go navigating a 101 question visa application about a visa that could literally save your life, if english was your second (or third) language.

Concerned Brisbane citizens and organisations have banded together to raise funds for legal support to help more than 2,000 people living on bridging visas in Queensland take advantage of a one-off opportunity to apply for a Temporary Protection Visa through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Asylum Circle spokesperson Anne Hilton said people who had arrived by sea before January 2014 have 28 days to submit applications to stay.

“These people are currently living on Bridging Visas which means they have no real opportunity to start a decent life here,” Ms Hilton said.

“They now have the opportunity to apply for three year or five year visas that will greatly improve their situations while their permanent status gets sorted out.”

“The visa application process is complex and time consuming. For example, they have to answer 101 questions in English.”

“These people need urgent legal help to apply,” she said.

Currently, lawyers, migration agents and support staff working in Salvos Asylum Seeker Clinic and Refugee and Immigration Legal Service (RAILS) are helping people make their visa applications.

Ms Hilton said both legal services urgently need help for coordination and research staff to support the volunteer lawyers and migration agents provide advice to all eligible people in time.

Asylum Circle has launched a crowd funding campaign to raise $100,000 to boost the efforts of these legal services.

Ms Hilton said funds will help people prepare stronger, more accurate applications with a greater chance of success.

“We need to improve the chances of safety and certainty for these people who have already survived trauma, loss and hardship,” she said.

“Without support from Queenslanders, they risk being sent back to the country they fled.”

Donations can be made via or direct deposit to Communify Qld Inc Gift Account Reference: Asylum Seeker Legal BSB: 064123 Account: 10123138

All donations are tax deductible with no administration fees.

Asylum Circle is a collaborative project auspiced by Communify Qld that contributes to the Queensland-based people who are seeking asylum so that they can enjoy a decent life with some certainty and safety.

For more information contact

Anne Hilton 0416 043 093

Find out more at

Facebook asylumcircle

Twitter @asylumcircle

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All girls for One Girl – Brisbane charity dinner – Saturday 3rd December 2016

I am excited to introduce Romany Maunder, One Girl Ambassador, who has written a charityspam guest post about a dinner she is organising this Saturday 3rd December, at Five Sister’s Cafe in South Brisbane, raising money for One Girl – thank you Romany!  

onegirleventMy name is Romany and I’m trying to spread a little love. I have recently completed a dual degree at the University of Queensland and appreciate the importance of education. I faced no barriers to accessing education, and now I want to help others learn.   I have spent the last six months volunteering and interning until I move to Darwin to start my grad job there in January.

My main focus this year has been organising a charity dinner as a One Girl Ambassador. I have zero experience organising events so, organising this dinner has been one hell of a learning experience.  My goal is to raise $100o for One Girl.

When? 6pm this Saturday, 3rd December 2016
Where? Five Sister’s Cafe and Bar, 141 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane
How much? $70 early bird, hurry! Buy your ticket here.

onegirlIn 2010, Chantelle Baxter and Dave Dixon were in Uganda, and by chance met a young girl Brenda.  Brenda was knocking on hotel doors asking for $40 to cover her school fees so she could stay in school for the remainder of the year. Brenda was an orphan living with her grandmother who could no longer afford to pay the school fees. Chantelle and Dave happily paid the $40 plus extra for her books, bag and other supplies. This was One Girl’s first scholarship, and the start of Australian based charity One Girl. Since then One Girl has funded 326 scholarships, and helped 14 000 girls with their education.

Last year I helped organise a second hand clothes market to raise money for One Girl. This year I’ve organised a charity dinner. It has taken months to organise and there have been some major set backs but thankfully I’m working with an amazing café, Five Sisters Café run by a mum and her four daughters and I have received fantastic raffle donations from extraordinary local Brisbane businesses.

Tickets are only $70 (early bird price), please visit my fb event page and buy your ticket here.  Dinner includes a three course meal and four drinks. Yalumba have donated wine, Batlow Cider Co the cider and Young Henrys the beer. 

You don’t have to attend the dinner to buy raffle tickets, these can be bought by donating to and leave a comment for raffle pack 1 or 2. Tickets are $2 for 1 or $10 for 7 and the raffle will be drawn on the night, by buying them online you will receive and email with a tax deductible receipt.

I would love for you to come and along and help me raise $1000 for One Girl.

Love to see you there

Posted in #blogforgood, Australian charity, Brisbane Events, Causes, Community, KINDNESS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toothbrushes + slippers = Christmas kindness

aliMy friend Ali, who has been an incredible supporter of many causes, recently collected and distributed 279 pamper boxes to go to women in domestic violence shelters on the Gold Coast.  Pretty amazing – check out her recent fb post about her wall of love / kindness wall:

“Apparently some clown in the US has been carrying on about building a wall. Here in Oz we do things a little differently. Behind me is a wall that you built, a wall of love. All of your donations have gone into making a wall of 279 pamper boxes to go to women who are in domestic violence shelters this Christmas. That’s enough for a box of kindness for every single woman in a DV shelter in SE Queensland who has run from violence. Now that, my friends, is a wall to be proud of. Mahalo to all my beautiful friends who donated and #RizeUp who will distribute through their networks.”

If that was not enough, Ali was chatting to a DV worker last Saturday night, and asked “what else do you need?”

“Toothbrushes and slippers” she said.  Yep, it is that simple.  If you would like to pick up an extra toothbrush or a pair of slippers, children’s or adults and send to Ali’s next collection, please mail to:

Ali the Angel, 48 Justin Avenue, Mt Tamborine QLD 4272

(or I see Ali fairly regularly, and I can deliver for you too.)

toothbrushIf you have a book club, sports team, work group, or school class looking to put some kindness into your end of year or this Christmas, perhaps you could combine your efforts, collect together and send in.

Ali’s goal is to collect 500 toothbrushes and 500 pairs of slippers – lets help get her there! PLEASE SHARE THIS POST xxx



Posted in Children, Community, GIVING, Homelessness, KINDNESS, Pay it forward, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Attention 80s Gold Coast party people!

singalongDo you live on the Gold Coast and want to step back into an 80s disco?  Well here is your chance!  The 6th fundraising Back to the 80s singalong is on again, organised by Dominique Lummus and friends at Helensvale Library’s Auditorium,Sir John Overall Dr & Lindfield Road, Helensvale.

VJ Adam will pump up the volume and screen the very best music videos from the 80s – add disco lights and a haze machine for an 80s party to remember!

The playlist has been issued (see below) and you are encouraged to dress up as your favourite 80s icon and act out your favourite video/s on stage with your friends.

Want to push it – push it good? Going to Walk like an Egyptian? You can! Tickets are $17.50 pp and available now from

madonna-desperately-seeking-susan  The Breaks: Stylin' and Profilin' 1982-1990 by Janette Beckman,  published by powerHouse Books  thebangles

There is a bar selling wine, beer and hot & cold snacks, with the great crew from Oxenford State School P&C Association in charge.

All proceeds from this event go 100% to three charities/orgs – Helensvale Joey Scouts and the Helensvale Cubs special events, Rosies – Friends on the Street: Gold Coast Branch and Mahboba’s Promise.

Arrivals at 6pm on Sat 12th November – tickets $17.50pp from – tickets are still available!

Session One

1. Girls just want to have fun – Cindy Lauper (1983) – everyone welcome on stage to dance along with Zumba with Jo Mellare
2. New sensation – INXS (1987)
3. Thriller – Michael Jackson (1982)
4. I want to break free – Queen (1984)
5. Wake me up before you go-go – Wham (1984)
6. Physical – Olivia Newton John (1981)
7. Down Under – Men at Work (1982)
8. Flashdance – What a Feeling Irene Cara (1983)
9. Like a Virgin – Madonna (1984)
10. We built this city – Starship (1986)
11. Electric Blue – Ice House (1987)
12. Blue Monday – New Order (1983)
13. Whip It – Devo (1980)
14. Kiss – Prince (1986)
15. You’re the voice – John Farnham (1986)


Session Two

1. Addicted to love – Robert Palmer (1986)
2. Locomotion – Kylie Minogue (1988)
3. We will rock you – Queen (1984)
4. 500 Miles – The Proclaimers (1989)
5. She’s got the look – Roxette (1988)
6. Walk like an Egyptian – The Bangles (1987)
7. Living on a Prayer – Bon Jovi (1986)
8. Pour some sugar on me – Def Leppard (1987)
9. Material Girl – Madonna (1984)
10. Dancing in the Street – Mick Jagger and David Bowie (1985)
11. Push it – Salt n Peppa (1986)
12. Let’s Dance – David Bowie (1983)
13. I’ve had the time of my life – Jennifer Warnes and Bill Medley (1987)
14. Love Shack – B52s (1989)

Posted in Brisbane Events, Community, Homelessness, Pay it forward, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Aussie companies partner to “double the good”

Guess what??!!  Two great Aussie companies on a mission to do good, have teamed up to offer you meal and beer that delivers “double the good.”

goodbeer-zambrero-slide-3‘Mexican with a Mission’ pioneers Zambrero, have partnered with The Good Beer Co, Australia’s first social enterprise beer company, to offer Zambrero customers to “double the good” they can do – just by enjoying a good beer with some yummy Mexican food.

I hadn’t heard of Zambrero before.  Zambrero is a quick-service modern Mexican restaurant founded in Canberra in Australia in 2005. There are now ten in Queensland, a total of over 135 restaurants across Australia, New Zealand Thailand and Ireland.  For every meal you purchase, they donate a plate of food to someone in need, via Plate 4 Plate – learn more about their story here.

The Good Beer Co works with good Australian craft brewers to brew and sell good beers to raise money for good causes. It’s first good beer that gives back, Great Barrier Beer, is brewed by Queensland craft brewers, Bargara Brewing Company, and raises funds for the Australian Marine Conservation Society.


Zambrero, a company committed to tackling world hunger through it’s revolutionary plate for plate initiative, will initially be offering customers at 10 of its Queensland stores the chance to “double the good” by adding a Great Barrier Beer to their food order.

“This is a no brainer. Together we’re a great fit – two companies with a mission to do good through good food and drink.” Shane from Zambrero said.

“The Good Beer Co offers Australians a good beer that does good in the same way we do Mexican with a mission through plate for plate. We love it and we think our customers will love it too.”

The Good Beer Co Founder, James Grugeon, said: “We can’t think of a better partner for our first good beer, Great Barrier Beer, a good Queensland craft beer that raises funds for the Australian Marine Conservation Society and their work to protect our national icon.”

Local Federal MP, Wayne Swan will join Zambrero and The Good Beer Co to help launch the partnership at Zambrero Nundah on Thursday 1st September.

Find a Zambrero restaurant near you here.  Cheers! …or should I say salud!

Posted in Ethical Shopping, GIVING, Social Enterprise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lets fill this container to the brim!

Sierra-Leone-Children-eatingMy friend Jane, founded an Australian charity to help orphans and at risk kids in Sierra Leone.  It is called The Fig Tree Children, and so far, Jane has raised enough money to feed, clothe and send 40 children to school.

The Fig Tree Children run in partnership with a local primary school which is soon to become a secondary school. Locals built the school, and now have over 200 children from the most poverty stricken area of Sierra Leone attending the school. Many families cant afford to attend their children to school, and Jane works hard to find Australian sponsors to pay their school fees. Get in contact with Jane if you would like to sponsor a child.

Next week, in partnership with Bikes For Life, Jane is sending a shipping container over to Sierra Leone, and she is urgently seeking donations of the below items for the school, new or pre-loved: 

  • childrens books – all ages
  • text books, any year level
  • exercise books, writing (lined/unlined) books (anything)
  • paper
  • geometry sets
  • pens, pencils, colouring crayons, glue, scissors, paints,
  • children’s toys or games

TheFigTreeChildrenJane needs these items by next week, Tuesday 6th September.  You can post / or drop off all items to: 26 Nankin Street, Fig Tree Pocket QLD 4069

Or if you would like to make a tax deductible cash donation to buy these items, you can donate online here, or bank details below:
Account name: The Fig Tree Children
BSB: 084 255    Account: 74 304 6763
Ref: First and last name

Jane is also trying to source non-electric sewing machines, fabrics and cottons. The fabrics and cottons are to make re-usable sanitary pads with Freeda Thong from EcoPads, there is a sewing-bee happening in Brisbane this weekend if you would like to help – they are hoping to make 300 sets.  Learn more about Eco Pads here.

Email Jane if you would like to get involved in any way! Or visit The Fig Tree Children website for more information.

Jane is also hosting a charity movie night for Bridget Jones’ Baby on Monday 19th September at The Blueroom Cinebar, in Rosalie Village, Brisbane. Tickets are $25  and includes the movie, a glass of bubbles and a $10 donation to The Fig Tree Children.

Book your ticket here:

Posted in Bikes 4 Life, Causes, Children, Pay it forward, Uncategorized, youth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Elephants for Education

IMG_2209Cambodian charity Human and Hope Association Inc have launched a crowd funding campaign called Elephants for Education selling hand-made toy elephants to fund education for kids in Cambodia.

The organisation, which recently celebrated becoming entirely locally run, aims to empower Cambodians to create sustainable futures for themselves through education, vocational training and community support.

Some of the programs offered by Human and Hope Association include English classes, art classes and preschool. Another program, which has been extremely successful, is the sewing project where women from disadvantaged backgrounds can complete a 10 month course to learn sewing and business skills.

IMG_1741This program is where Saney (pictured) learnt the skills that would enable her to start her own business. She also receives an income by making some of toy elephants for the Elephants for Education scheme.

Sally Hetherington, who has worked at Human and Hope Association for 4 years, says the campaign is crucial to funding the organisations ongoing running costs.

“HHA is achieving such great things, and this wouldn’t be possible without our generous supporters. Each and every donation makes such a huge impact and allows the committed local team to continue their great work.”

Sally is also excited that the campaign coincides with the release of Human and Hope’s adorable range of stuffed elephants.

“Not only is each elephant super cute, but each one has their own name. For example, Bopha can provide a whole month’s English education to a child” Sally says.

The campaign aims to raise $15,000 by August 25th. Buy an elephant today or make a donation on the campaign page:





Or email Sally Hetherington – President for more information.



Posted in Australian charity, Children, Uncategorized, youth | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment