Capes 4 Kids come to the rescue

SOME of the best ideas come from those Sunday afternoon discussions with your friends. For two local mums, Heather Foggett and Teresa Hancock, it resulted in the creation of not for profit charity, Capes 4 Kids.

The organisation sends handmade capes to sick children with idea that it's something they can wear to get them through the hospital visits and tough times. This is done without cost to the family.

"It's a cape of courage for the child, a bit of armour, that protective barrier. Every child knows that superheros come with capes, we know that as adults," Mrs Foggett, of Queanbeyan, said.

"These kids are going through scary situations particularly when they're getting needles or injections so it's a bit of comfort for them. We never expected it would get this big."

Since its inception three months ago, the organisation has sent more than 300 capes to children around the country. The concept is modelled on an American-based project.

"When you get to hear the stories, it's heart-wrenching but we're really privileged that people will share their lives and stories with us. We're just trying to reach these kids and put a smile on their faces. That's the greatest thing," she said.

"Our youngest we've done is four-week-old Xavier who was awaiting open heart surgery and we sent him a cape. He's now three months old and doing extremely well."

Capes 4 Kids relies on an army of about 100 volunteer sewers all over the country who use donated material to create capes for children aged from four-weeks-old to 14-years-old.

Currently, requests from all over the country come through the headquarters either by the family or hospitals. The cape, along with a little letter, is posted out as soon as possible.

Mrs Foggett said the biggest challenge they face as they expand is covering the cost of material and postage. Those who would like to help can make a donation or sponsor a cape.

"Our vision for the future is that we can reach every hospital in Australia and every community outreach centre. Where there's a child, where's there a need - we want to give them a cape. That's what we would like to do but unfortunately everything does cost money," she said.

"People can give us money but we would prefer not the public's money. We would prefer gift vouchers for Spotlight, Lincraft or Australia Post so we can pay for postage or purchase items like fabric, Velcro, needles and pins."

n For more information about Capes 4 Kids or to volunteer or donate, please visit www.capes4kidsaustralia.com.au.

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