WORDS FROM SARAH NOLEN, OWNER AND FOUNDER OF BIRDBLACK DESIGN
I’m so grateful to be living in the beautiful city of Wollongong which has given BIRDBLACK DESIGN the opportunity to flourish. As much as I’d love to be able to physically help in multiple areas, time just doesn’t allow me to do so. Like most people, between work, health and sports, relationships and extracurricular activities, spare time is often a rare commodity.
So whilst time may be restricted, I had to decide what else I could offer, and I came to the conclusion that I certainly have the opportunity to financially give into the community… paying it forward, so to speak. Of course I am still a very active member in my community, but I found that regularly giving finance is the best solution when my free time is sporadic.
Below we have compiled a group of charities who are held close to our heart. Each selection has been made based on the great work they do. Here at BIRDBLACK DESIGN, we are partnering with each of them to see change and growth in the lives of people both locally and internationally.
BIRDBLACK DESIGN is the proud sponsor of our local Aussie Rules club. We’ve been involved with the Lions since moving to Wollongong in 2014. This club is one of the longest standing in the region and the club has a tremendous culture about it. We spend most of our Saturdays cheering on the teams. The Lions have both senior men’s, women’s and junior’s teams. Let’s hope for another premiership this year!
These are two programs very close to my heart. Both programs are run throughout schools and community centres within the Illawarra. I was fortunate to lead a group for two years working with refugees predominately from Syria.
These programs focus on building up young women and men through empowerment, teaching them self-worth, strength and love. It runs during the school term, meeting once a week. The growth within the young people is spectacular and I often enjoy reflecting on their progress from the first lesson through to the end of the program. If anyone is interested in getting involved in these programs in our community, please reach out, as I’d love to connect you with contacts. I find it overwhelmingly rewarding and I have personally grown as a human because of the young women I have met in these programs.
We financially support these programs on a monthly basis.
BIRDBLACK DESIGN donates $10 from every design sign-up towards the Destiny Rescue mission.
If you’ve read the ‘About Me’ section on the Destiny Rescue website, then you’ll know this is by far one of the most important issues in the world today. BIRDBLACK DESIGN wholeheartedly believes that every woman, man and child on this earth has the right to freedom: free from oppression, free from slavery and a life free from the sex trade.
“Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings, mainly for the purposes of forced labour and sex trafficking. As the world’s fastest growing criminal industry, it affects every nation across the globe. Every 30 seconds, someone becomes a victim of modern-day slavery.
There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history, with an estimated 27 million in bondage across the globe. Men, women, and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labour against their will”.
Destiny Rescue’s solution to this problem is:
We work to stop individuals from becoming victims of human trafficking by providing awareness, education to the next generation, and interrupting the demand.
We protect survivors of human trafficking by providing a safe environment and by running restoration programs in our aftercare facilities.
We work to prosecute traffickers, provide survivors with legal counsel, and strengthen the legal response to human trafficking.
We aim to partner with fundraising supporters, governmental agencies, and community members to see injustice abolished.
BIRDBLACK DESIGN provides a monthly donation towards funding Montessori programs for children.
I believe education is the key to turning the tide on poverty. In 2005, I took my first trip to Sri Lanka as part of a disaster relief team shortly after the 2004 tsunami which claimed the life of 30,195 lives.
Sri Lanka stole my heart and in 2015 with husband in tow, we journeyed back. On this particular trip we met an amazing husband and wife team that are selflessly changing lives. They have opened numerous Montessori pre-schools for children that otherwise could not afford education.
What they found was that children from poorer socio-economic backgrounds were dropping out of school by year 2, never to return again. The Montessori schools provide free education so that children can learn the basics in spelling and numeracy before heading to official school ensuring they start on an even playing field. BIRDBLACK DESIGN believes in the importance of education and will continue to support this venture.
Along with education, there are many other needs that people in extreme poverty experience. Compassion is a wonderful charity that provides sponsorships to children all around the world.
What I love about Compassion is their holistic approach: the finances received not only go to benefit a single child but they benefit the entire town or village that child lives in, providing their wider family with medical aid, education and equipment required for farming and nutrition in the way of food, supplies and clean drinking water.
BIRDBLACK DESIGN is the proud sponsor of two wonderful young girls from Sri Lanka and a young boy in Thailand who we partner in sponsoring with Gateway City Church. We believe they have the potential to do anything they wish. If our partnering with them can help open the door to a better life for themselves and their families, we are so proud to be on board.
“Why girls? Because when you educate a girl, you educate a nation”
– African Proverb