Packs a ray of sunshine
BELMONT resident Erin Tan is helping to ease the trauma for children taken into foster care with a simple backpack filled with essentials and a comforting toy.
Ms Tan is the treasurer of Operation Sunshine, which recently made its first delivery of 30 ‘sunshine packs’ to the South Perth office of Foundations Care, a national fostering services agency.
Each pack contains essentials like pyjamas, socks and a toothbrush, plus a soft toy, to help children through the first 24 to 48 hours of a placement.
“Foundations Care is the first organisation we’ve provided them to, which is exciting for us,” Operation Sunshine president Leah Atkinson said.
“And the packs themselves are full of new things, they’re not pulled out of a box of second-hand stuff.
“Everyone loves getting new stuff. It’s so exciting and fresh and new.”
Operation Sunshine began when Ms Atkinson invited her friends on social media to contribute to a Christmas present drive for children in out-ofhome care.
She described the response as “quite overwhelming”.
“I ended up having to set up a Facebook page, separate from mine, just to organise all the Christmas presents.”
Ms Atkinson realised the potential of her idea and established Operation Sunshine, helped by six of her friends who form the committee.
The first ‘sunshine packs’ were assembled with funds raised from a sausage sizzle.
Now the organisation is able to fundraise and accept charitable donations, it has plans for many more.
Erin Tan, Gabrielle Ponte and Leah Atkinson, from Operation Sunshine, with Rachael Rogers from Foundations Care.