One of the ways we reach in to our community at Casey is by partnering with Dandenong Gatehouse, an initiative of St Kilda Gatehouse. They work with young women, aged between 12-25 years old, who are at risk of, or affected by, sexual exploitation in the Greater Dandenong area. Many of these young women have never had a birthday party.

So, on 26 July some volunteers from our church community got together to celebrate the birthdays of seven of these young women. There were many people who contributed to the festivities by baking cakes, cooking party food, providing decorations, donating gifts, as well as pampering the birthday girls. Some of the responses from the young women to the staff were: “I feel so blessed”, “I feel so loved, I’m glad I didn’t stay home and do nothing”, “It felt like I was in Heaven with the angels”.

Often we can overlook the small things in life, but you can never underestimate what it means to stop and intentionally express to someone, in words and actions, that they are loved; they are valued; that they matter; that they’re noticed and we care. This is especially important for these beautiful young women that have gone through a lot of hardship in their life. We’re excited to be able to continue partnering with Dandenong Gatehouse through bi-monthly birthday parties and cooking each term for their group work nights.



Posted in August 2016


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