AFTER several months in limbo, the friendly faces of the women at Warrnambool’s foster care opportunity shop have returned.
They raised more than $1.4 million over a 20-year period for needy children and their families but decided to wind up their services in February after the state axed funding for Community Connections Victoria’s (CCV) foster care program.
CCV leased the Koroit Street shop from the Baptist church, so there was no opportunity for the women to continue their mission and keep raising money for the south-west’s foster care program which was transferred to Brophy. CCV continued operating the business until mid-May when the church decided not to renew its lease. More than 40 of the volunteers who decided to hang up their name tags returned to the shop yesterday and are now preparing to reopen the doors to raise money for the Brophy program.
Brophy CEO Francis Broekman said the women were keen to continue on with their sole purpose of supporting children and families.
He described the foster carers as “the most open-hearted, generous people in our community” and said the money raised would help them to buy items such as clothing, sporting equipment and toys.
Mr Broekman said they were keen to hear from business people who had shop fittings they no longer required to determine if they were suitable for the shop.
Shop convener Shirley Barling said the women were also seeking donations of quality items including clothing, linens and other goods.