"Thank you very much; another great job from Assist A Sista!!!
My client was so happy and she showed me photos and explained to me with tears. Her eldest boy has just started his Uni study, and his study desk was what he wanted! (no excuse for not studying now). Her youngest boy was so excited as well. My client told me that she never lived the house like you did. We always appreciate your great work.
Here is the letter from my client:"
"Dear Assist A Sista,
On behalf of myself and children, I would like to take this opportunity to say Thank You for providing us with an outstanding Home.
I could not believe what I saw when I entered when I entered the home lastnight, I was so overwhelmed with what you all had done, could not contain myself! I shed many tears of Joy, tears that I shed as I am finally able to settle down with my children.
I know we will spend many years being happy in our home and this is credit to your organisation
As a Mother, starting all over again is the most scariest thing in life and not knowing where we will end up is stressful. Having your group of amazing people take care of the household for us has taken away a lot of that stress for me and I Thank you again.
The response from my children was priceless! The youngest ones absolutely loved their rooms and everything in it and my eldest child was blown away with his room, the fact he was given a desk and chair was great as he has just embarked on a Degree in Business at uni and will surely put that desk to great use.
In conclusion, thank you for what you are doing for women and their families, there is no other way in expressing how thankful I am for your generosity.
Thank you again from the bottom of my Heart!"
"Take a bow Assistas! YOU have made this happen for Family #116. Thank you."
Haven 116 - September 2014
"I had the pleasure of attending the handover of Haven 112 yesterday with the shelter support workers. Our first reaction when entering the unit was “WOW” how Kate and the Assista Team have transformed the unit into a warm inviting home is unbelievable.
On behalf of the ladies (who were extremely overwhelmed with the beautiful items and transformation of the unit), we send a big THANK YOU. The donations and attention to detail expressed in the 'home' will have an everlasting life changing effect on the family.
One of the ladies expressed after seeing the home, 'You see things like this happen on television, and you think it is not real; today I know that those shows are real.'
A huge THANK YOU to all who contributed with donations and time! Keep up the wonderful, amazing work you do."
Haven 112 - August 2014
"Dear Assist a Sista team, my client would like to pass on her very sincere gratitude for all the generous support and hard work your volunteers have put into furnishing her new property. As she walked around each room and looked into the cupboards she could only manage to say ‘Oh wow’ again and again.
The attention to detail and the magnitude of the generosity from your team of volunteers is truly awe inspiring. Her son is especially excited by the basketball hoop in the backyard and the lego in his room.
You have all done an amazing job for this family. Their transition from domestic violence and homelessness to starting their new life in a safe, fully furnished house has been seamless and stress free. Words cannot fully express our appreciation."
Family Counsellor - Supported Accommodation
Haven 111 - August 2014
"Dear Assist 2 Learn, as a Deputy Principal and a supervising teacher on a recent student study tour to Canberra, I was fortunate to work with two students who were supported by your organisation to participate in the program. These two boys benefited greatly from the experience which was evidenced by:
It was encouraging to witness their successful engagement in the program as some staff had reservations as to their maturity and readiness to cope. Community interest and support is very much appreciated, as in this instance two boys have participated in an experience that may have just been a dream – through the kind donations from your supporters the dream has become a reality.
I sincerely thank you for making this possible and have no doubt the boys will face the future with renewed confidence, appreciation and gratitude.
My heartfelt thanks"
"I just wanted to say a huge Thank You for your amazing response to my very hopeful request for a stroller. I was just sort of hoping when I saw you at the meeting, as I was working with a woman who really was in desperate need of a stroller, hers was stolen and she was walking about 20 minutes to and from school to drop off her Prep child and was having to walk and or carry her 2 year old because of no pram. Very hard on both the 2 year old, Mum’s back and her 5 year old who was impatient to get to school.
The woman had just replaced her old stroller as it had broken and it was the new one that was taken. The woman had no hope of affording another. Anyway after seeing you Tuesday, on Wednesday you were telling me you put the call out and one of your Sista’s, Chrissa, had responded with a stroller. Absolutely amazing that you not only found one but also found one so fast. Definitely Sista Power!!!
Could you please pass my and the woman’s thanks on to Chrissa as well. The woman was over whelmed and incredibly relieved, when I dropped off the stroller. It is in just lovely condition and so sturdy the woman will have no problem using it for the distance she has to walk. As with a lot of the women we work with this woman has no extended family and is just trying to manage so she can rebuild her life and keep her children safe. The help you give really makes such a difference to their lives and makes them feel not quite so alone, and that they are worth it!!!
Thank You once again for your generosity and thoughtfulness."
DV Support Worker
Crisis Call August 2014
"I just wanted to say a big thank you for linking us with Cathy. Cathy donated three bed frames (2 single beds and a queen size beds), a bedside table and a dressing table. My client and her children had been sleeping on the floor and they are very excited by their ‘new’ furniture. My client is particularly in love with the dressing table. Thanks so much to you and to Cathy for helping my client turn her house into a home for her and her four children."
Crisis Call - July 2014
"You recently helped someone very near and dear to me. Words cannot express the gratitude and appreciation we feel for everything you have done for her. I visited their new home and was overwhelmed by how cosy and welcoming you guys made it! The kids were so excited to show me their new rooms and all the gifts they received, they were the happiest I have seen them in a long time and that is due to the love and care you put into creating their new home and an environment in which they now feel safe.
I just wanted to say thank you so very much for all you have done! The work that you do deserves the very highest praise! You guys are amazing!"
"I was not with the woman when we took her to her new home but the worker that accompanied her told me that when they got to the door, the first thing she noticed was the red 'Welcome' mat. As they went into the house, the woman’s hands flew to her face and she gasped and said 'Oh my goodness', as she was taking it all in. The worker also told me that as they then walked through the house the woman had tears in her eyes. They are a lovely family and literally had nothing but the clothes they had acquired since coming into our shelter.
We could not offer people such a lovely setting when they finally relocate, if it wasn’t for your Assista Sista service and all your wonderful helpers. Again, our sincerest thanks."
Haven 105 - July 2014
"I can only provide my reaction and thoughts, not the clients, as another worker brought our client to the house later in the day.
I was amazed at the transformation that had taken place in this house when I walked in! I could not believe that it was the same house I met the team leader at only 7 days earlier.
So many small extras were thought of, it was incredible. There were little bags full of yummy snacks and gifts for each child. There was a beautiful rocking chair sitting beside Mums bed for her to feed her new born baby in (I am aware that she used this on the first night she was there and loves it!). There were beautiful roses beside Mums bed and an amazing necklace. The children’s rooms were great and I was so excited for them to be coming to this house later that day.
This client gave birth only days before moving into this haven so it was incredible for her to be coming home from hospital to this! Thank you so much Assist A Sista, the Team Leader and all involved in this Haven as this was an amazing way for her to begin a new life with her new little baby and the rest of her lovely children, very special!
With all our thanks for providing this wonderful service to us."
Haven 104 - July 2014
"Just wanted to thankyou again ever so much for our last haven. My client walked into her new home with an idea that people have been in there to drop some donated furniture off. When she walked in, her face lit up like a small child on Christmas day. Her first words were 'Oh my God, I didn’t know they were going to do this'. She was over the moon happy.
Each room she walked into she became more and more excited. My client told me before she seen the house that she would like to buy Assit A Sista a card to thank them, when she seen the house she said 'I want to buy a really, really nice card'. She also said that she can’t believe strangers did this for her.
I would like to thank you all so much, from Manuella and Nicolle to the team leaders, volunteers and of course to all those wonderful people who donated their time, money and items. You have made this little family so very happy. God bless you all and thankyou again so much."Support Worker
"Another note to let you know how grateful we are for the most wonderful service Assist a Sista provides.
Recently we did the handover - this is maybe my fourth time doing a handover and I’m sure its getting more emotional! When we moved the family into their newly furnished unit, yet again mum was speechless! It's such an overwhelming feeling to see such kindness from people you will never meet but care enough to make your home beautiful! Mum was saying 'Wow this is amazing, I cannot believe this is mine, I am so Lucky'.
In particular, mum wanted to share with you how much she loved the garden filled with little lady bugs and flower wind-mills. Her son went over to them, started twirling and touching them. That for mum was so very special because previously she had those sort of things in her own garden and it meant the world because it felt like home again.
Also mum wanted you to know her son ran off into his room by himself. This was significant to mum, he usually never leaves her side. Not today! In his new room with all his new toys (cars, planes, animalsand balls), he only called for mum to come have a look at something else he found. It was a very emotional thing for mum to see.
Our client could not believe how colour co-ordinated the unit was, the bed linen was a massive favourite. Orange is her favourite colour and yes, an orange throw on the bed! Also the pictures of bikes, mum and her son love bikes! The fresh flowers, fresh fruit, every cupboard was filled! In every space was a new surprise! Really, there is so much to mention about that morning and mums reactions to seeing it all! Let me tell you she is so touched and so grateful.
So from us here at Jebb and the family - another Thank You!"
Haven 101 July 2014
"To all the wonderful Assistas and a special team leader, a very big Thank You for the amazing effort and care you have all put into our family’s haven.
Not only are you helping the safe at our refuge immensely, but making an enormous difference to the family receiving this support. Words cannot adequately describe our appreciation.
Our warmest wishes, bless you all!"Refuge Manager & Team
"Our 'Mum' asked me to say a big THANK YOU for the wonderful items that were donated, which have turned her house into a home for her and her five children. The children were so happy and excited with their new toys and their wonderful new bedrooms.
MUM AND 5 CHILDREN."
Haven 99 - June 2014
"Our client and her son moved in to Haven 98, late yesterday afternoon. The Mother was thrilled and said several times, 'I'm over the moon, truly I am' with a huge smile. She was delighted to find the ornamental messages around the house, 'I did not expect all these little details', they are so thoughtful.
The Mother could not sit still she had to keep exploring her new house, ' can't sit down, I have to keep walking around and around, I can't believe it's mine, my bed is my dream bed, its just my colours'. She professed herself to be 'over the Moon' with all the details which had been placed in the house such as the baking equipment, 'When I was in the refuge I had been dreaming that when I get to my new home my son and I will bake biscuits in all shapes and sizes, and now I can'.
The child was excitedly playing in his new bedroom discovering his new toys, his mother exclaimed he is just so happy with his new room, it is much better than I could have ever done for him.
The Mother wishes to pass on her many thanks to the wonderful women at Assist A Sista and said 'this is the biggest gift I will ever receive, thank you so, so much'.
With much appreciation."
Client Services Coordinator
"As I write this our client and her 3 children will be arriving at their new home and seeing it for the first time. Unfortunately I am missing this very fun part of the handover. I travelled to the property to collect the key and then another worker has taken the family there. Although I will not be able to see the joy on their faces, imagining it is also great! This Haven was absolutely AMAZING! The team leader has gone over the top and put so much heart and thought into every room of this house that I know this wonderful family will feel so at home tonight when sitting in their lounge room on the couch after such a big day. The kids will be overwhelmed with their rooms as will their Mum. More feedback will follow after the real event but many, many thanks from me to all who were involved in creating the new home for this family.
With many, many Thank You's."
Haven 96 - June 2014
" I want to express our sincere thanks to the team leader and all involved in Haven 95. Our lovely lady and her two children were overwhelmed upon walking in to their new home.
The children ran straight up to their rooms and were very occupied looking at all their new toys. The little boy was playing with his sister’s pram until he saw his big new yellow car and that was where he was staying!
Meanwhile we walked through each room and our lady was in shock at all that had been done for her and that she could now begin her new life with her children without fear.
Thank you all, you are all amazing!"
Haven 95 - May 2014
"Thank you for the amazing job of turning our client’s unit into a home. Our client was extremely overwhelmed by your kindness, the little touches that personalized her unit, and in particular, the thoughtfulness of arranging for her personal belongings to be transported to the unit.
Our client has stated that she is extremely grateful for all that has been done for her and her son, and became quite emotional when she saw the look on her son’s face as he went into his bedroom. Our client has, throughout her journey, struggled with how domestic violence has impacted upon her son, and to see his expression of delight and happiness at what he had received, uplifted her spirit.
Once again, thank you for your time, generosity and commitment to supporting women and children escaping domestic and family violence."
Parent Support Worker
"I realise that you have already received feedback from the other support worker that came to handover, but I felt I needed to provide some too! The handover of haven 92 was more emotional for me than any other we have had. The lady was completely stunned by what she saw when she walked in the door, it took her a while just to stop gasping at the lounge room, she loved the pictures on the wall and said that she had never had pictures on the wall, she loved them. Then she saw the kitchen with all the new appliances, then the washing machine. Then her room, she was so excited to have her own bed. She finally got to the children’s rooms and watched the children opening all their new toys, they had already sorted out who was having what bed and which toys and loved their rooms!! I think the most exciting part for her was that all the windows had curtains on them.
As we walked out the front door to say good bye, Mum was standing out the front sobbing and completely overwhelmed that this was now her home and they all could sleep safely.
Thank you so much to the amazing team leader and helpers that created this beautiful haven for this lovely family to call home, you are all amazing and changing peoples lives!"
Haven 92 - May 2014
"I’ve just returned from being handed over the keys for our latest lucky family’s haven, No. 92.
After hand over we rang our family to come and I cannot express to you in words what their delight, surprise and excitement was. They were running from one room to another discovering love and care that went into making this house a HOME for them to enjoy.
They were coming back to workers and their mum to share their excitement of finding yet another toy, piece of clothing, book etc. We walked mum through the rooms pointing to items in cupboards, fridge, laundry, drawers including a beautiful retreat for mum.
Mum got just as excited as children were and kept on saying 'Whoa, look at this and we got that pointing to fridge, washing machine, beautiful curtains, and table settin'.
Tears of joy and gratitude came over her as she said 'I love it all!!!, it’s wonderful!.
I cannot believe that this is all ours now, and no one can take it away from us'.
Upon seeing couple of bikes that were gifted to children she said 'OMG!!! The kids have missed their bikes the most since we left our home and all our possessions behind'. As we were leaving, the children were still busy in their rooms but managed to say 'Thank you, for everything' and mum was overwhelmed and still in tears, saying with them so much more than words can ever say.
Lots and lots of gratitude, may you and your teams be blessed many times over for making such wonderful impact on these women and children that have been through so much.
I am privileged to have witnessed such human act of kindness in our tough world.
Haven 92 - May 2014
"I would just like to pass on my sincere thanks for the work your team put into our client's property, Haven 90. It felt like Christmas had come early, every detail both big and small had been thought of. Our client couldn't believe that the house she had seen had been turned into a home!
I'd like to share with you how appreciative this family were for all that had been done, I think they are going to keep noticing little details for quite some time. I only wish your team were able to see their faces, its amazing!
This family can't wait to get settled in to enjoy their new home and the new start it represents for them.
Once again, just sending huge thanks from us staff and from the family for all the work you do, there aren't enough words to express our gratitude."
Haven 90 - June 2014
"Once again a spectacular haven created by the wonderful team at Assist A Sista. The Mother entered her new Haven and her eyes flew open and she clasped her hand to her mouth and said 'Oh my God' over and over as she walked around opening drawers and touching their contents smiling and saying 'Thank you, thank you'. When she saw the shiny, sequined high heels her face lit up and again said 'oh' in a surprised and excited voice.
The children were very excited to find they had been given a Wii, and their Mother wooped with excitement and said 'they have a Wii'.
The Mother states that she loves her new home and has constantly been "pottering around" in it, she declares it 'really homely' and she loves it.Thanks a Million to the Assist-A Sista team who have provided a haven for this family to start their new life free from domestic violence. You Rock!"
Client Services Coordinator
"I wanted to give you some brief feedback about the Haven you provided for our family yesterday.
On entering the house the mother exclaimed 'this is so different to the house we looked at few weeks ago. It now looks like a home and it smells like a home and it feels like a home. My children will be so excited to come home from school this afternoon and walk in here. I love the way it has been decorated with a cottage feel, I have always loved the cottage style'.
Later when the children arrived from school both were gob smacked - they just walked from room to room looking at everything and finally settled on the lounge - then they realised there was a big tv there. The boy asked if it worked, we told him it sure did, he asked 'but does it get channel 9?'. 'Why' we asked, 'because tomorrow is state of origin and this is where I will be sitting and watching it'.
Mum commented on a large picture on the wall of the beach with sand and wind swept grass (is next to the dining table). She said this is just like us - when the sisters get together we do not break we can bend in the wind and keep going. She said she was upset that she could not express her gratitude to you all in person. She would try to write her thoughts down and get me pass them onto you all, when she has.
Many, many thanks to you all."
"Thank you so much for the hard work and effort put into Haven 87. Not just filling a home with items but for transforming the space into a home full of peace and joy. When we took the family to the house the children jumped out of the car and peered through the windows. They were all absolutely amazed when we opened the door. The green room looks amazing, you really worked some magic in that room! The children ran to their rooms and were amazed, the son kept saying 'is this MY room?'.
Mum couldn't believe her eyes when she walked into the kitchen. The space is so welcoming and the amount of donated appliances were incredible. The house felt so warm and welcoming.
I would just like to say it is such an honour being able to take families to their Haven. Words can't describe how amazing the reactions are. For everyone involved in Haven 87, thank you. You have given more than you know!
One thing I love is being able to then send some photos of the transformed home to the property manager. Everyone I tell about this service is amazed. Manuela and Nicolle, thank you for starting this movement, it brings the best out of the community."
Haven 87 - April 2014
"Not sure where to begin..... Nor do I have the words to express the deepest gratitude on your
As I stepped into my new little home, I felt an overwhelming feeling of love, strength and peace. I soaked up those feelings, holding back tears of happiness. After a while, enjoying the serenity, I began to notice the incredible pieces that have ever so thoughtfully been placed to decorate and furnish my new home. I could visualise my children and grandchildren, happy, laughing, sitting at the dining table, eating peacefully and enjoying. I then went into my bedroom and I'm sure my neighbours heard my GASP! I'm sure my smile was brighter than the sun! It was like a dream, the most beautiful grand bed and dresser... Funky side tables, amazing. Pprint, all decorated with colour, love and the final touch.... The Flowers.
Thank you! xxx
Our Family Kitchen, where I will cook for my family, all decked out with everything, every touch amazing!
Thank you! xxx
Love the lounge room - homely and the pieces you placed all in everything and colour I Love! Aqua being my favourite!
Thank you! xxx
My little boys room - WOW!!
I couldn't help but just stand and stare in awe! And he LOVES it!
Thank you! xxx"
Haven 85 Recipient
"I want to let you know how our family moving into Haven 81 was, her thoughts and feelings. I met up with the Team Leader and as usual it was run so smoothly. A week later the keys were handed back and I got my first look at the most wonderful job!
I know I’ve said this before, but the small touches are really what makes this a true 'Haven'. What you are able to produce is amazing, everything colour co-ordinates, perfect art work and the small children’s toys (and those special Easter eggs) fit exactly with the child’s age.
When I took Mum and the children over that afternoon, Mum was very quiet, I asked if she was okay and she had mentioned she was feeling anxious about leaving the safety and security of refuge to now live on her own. She was feeling a bit vulnerable. I tried not to go into too much detail about how good the Haven looked and she would feel so much better once she saw it for herself.
And I was right. Well the first words she said to me were 'I’m speechless' and that’s exactly how she looked. She stood just looking around and didn’t go in any further from that spot! As we walked around the unit, mum was touching everything, saying 'h my god, I can’t believe this.' She especially loved her bed (it was huge), and seeing the bed all made up was very overwhelming for her. Also the two children’s rooms were perfect, Mum loved the cot in the baby’s room and loved how it was beautifully decorated.
From Mum, the warmest thank you… from the staff here at Jebb, thank-you. When families move out of refuge they are often feeling overwhelmed, scared and bit sad. You help transform those worries and fears into them feeling pretty good about their future.
So... the Biggest Thank You xxxxxxxxx"
Haven 81 - April 2014
"I had the pleasure once again to experience a clients excitement of her new Haven. As a support worker this is a big part of what makes our job so worthwhile.
I actually wish there was some way all the Sistas involved could experience what we get to see, but let me tell you they are mostly shocked and can not believe that complete strangers have put all this work and love into their new homes.
Our client can not believe what you have all done for her. You have restored her faith in human kindness that hasn't been experienced in her life in a very long time. There were little touches of love all through out her home and she noticed every single one of them. She pointed out to us the hand written note left for her and we could see and feel the warmth it gave her.
I hope you all realise how appreciated every single one of you are for what you have done and bless you all."
Support Worker - March 2014
"Please accept a long overdue but very sincere THANK YOU for the wonderful work you are doing to assist women emerging from a life of domestic or family violence and wanting to become independent.
The incredibly growth and reach of Assist A Sista over the past 18 months or so, is testament to the pure passion of the two of you! A passion and energy which you have successfully used to motivate thousands of fabulous supporters and volunteers, who we would also like to extend our heartfelt gratitude towards.
Many of the women who find themselves homeless or in a refuge situation have been forced to leave their homes with minimal preparation and are limited to whatever they can carry, e.g. whatever will fit in the boot of a car, or the Police car sent to pick them up. Often this results in them hurriedly packing and prioritising their children's favourite belongings over their own; leaving these women with little more than the clothes on their back.
Frequently, and for safety reasons, we have to relocate women and children to places where they have no family or support networks, so whilst they may now be safe from harm and be receiving practical care from the local support services, they have no personal or familiar effects to provide them small comfort, repeatedly leaving them still feeling isolated, helpless and vulnerable.
We are also aware that for women who have fled after months, if not years, of 'walking on eggshells', or 'holding it together for the kids', a multitude of health issues can suddenly manifest, adding further strain on them physically, emotionally and financially - even coping with the costs of being a woman each month can cause inordinate stress.
The practical support you are facilitating, and the thoughtfulness of your actions, is life changing.
The smallest of gifts or donations can make all the difference, restoring faith in humanity, hope for the future and providing untold encouragement to persevere, at a critical time in the lives of the families you are reaching out to.
From shampoo and sanitary items to furniture and whitegoods, nursery items and home wares, toys and school uniforms, to new shoes and underwear... It is all contributing to rebuilding the lives of innocent women and in particular their children and we can only hope - ultimately - the fabric of our communities! THANK YOU and please keep up the good work."
Support Team - March 2014