A TRAGIC start to a brand new home has prompted an outpouring of community generosity with resident Kellie Nobes expressing her gratitude to friends, family and strangers.
Ms Nobes and her husband had been building their home for more than 12 months and upon receiving the keys recently they began to move their belongings in.
Last Friday, Ms Nobes entered her new home to discover the house had been broken into with all items moved in the previous days stolen including kitchen appliances, children’s clothing, cutlery, shoes, a brand new television and more.
Ms Nobes quickly realised she would have to ask the community for help replacing the items before reaching out to Nurtured Village Limestone Coast coordinator Taegan Partington – a charity which selects a mother in need each month and calls for locals to donate and support them.
The callout was made on social media through the charity and within hours donations had been pouring in.
Speaking with The Border Watch, Ms Nobes said they were fortunate to have a shed which was locked and held furniture and other pieces and her and her husband’s personal items were yet to be moved into the new home.
“A lot of what was taken was my kids’ clothing and when I was there in the heat of the moment I was thinking about who I could reach out to,” Ms Nobes said.
“I had seen the Nurtured Village before and what they did so I rang Taegan and asked if I could get my hands on a couple of clothing items for my children until I could go and replace it.
“I had some daycare clothes but heaps were taken.”
Ms Nobes said the callout was made straightaway and what happened next was “indescribable.”
“For us it was overwhelming because we got clothing and bits and pieces for the kids but people also sent us vouchers and I also had hundreds of people messaging me on social media after they heard what had happened and just wanting to give something or replace something which had been taken,” she said.
“That day we had family and friends drop off towels and bedding we could use because we had nothing and it was a few days after I received the donations from the charity that I messaged Taegen telling her we had too much stuff and I wanted to re-donate it to someone else.”
Ms Nobes said the initial donations was much more than the family had needed yet was immensely grateful for the help from family, friends and complete strangers.
“Literal strangers were reaching out left, right and centre or had donated vouchers so it was the community support which made us lost for words,” she said.
“I think I am still in shock about what happened and although it was lucky I could contact the Nurtured Village and it was so overwhelming but I am so grateful when businesses also donated stuff too.”
Ms Nobes said although the situation was dire there was a “massive silver lining” following the abundance of donations.
“We were on such a low and then on such a high to receive so much support from people,” she said.
“We owe everything to the village and everyone because if we had not had that support I think I would have struggled a lot more.”
Ms Nobes said as well as having to replace clothing and other items she also had to replace all the locks in the house after the keys – which were all in a bag – were also taken.
“That was an added cost and obviously it was quite distressing for not only me and my husband but also our family and friends who could see us that day in a state,” she said.
“It was a really awful experience and having our things stolen was one aspect of it but feeling anxious and unsafe on our first day in a home we have worked so hard for was another thing.”
She said throughout the building process other items on the house had also been stolen including kitchen sinks, doors and door handles.
Despite this, Ms Nobes said it was comforting to know there were people around her and her family during such a tough time.
“Reaching out and asking for help is not my strong point but I knew in that circumstance I had to ask because I had no other option, I honestly did not know what to do and to see that level of distress from my husband I had to work out what I could do to try and take some of the pressure off him,” she said.
Ms Partington said the urgent callout had received the quickest response the charity had ever seen.
“Kellie has supported us from the beginning and has been so generous,” Ms Partington said.
She said coordinators soon put a hold on donations after being inundated and donated more than a car boot full of items to the family.
“Meeting Kellie at her front door and getting her and her husband’s reactions showed how much our community rallied behind them,” Ms Partington said.
“As mums we know we struggle to ask for help because it is an inherent part of us that think we have to do it alone to be a good mum and I think Kellie’s ability to actually ask for help and see a platform which could be helpful is credit to her for paving the way for other people to ask the community to get behind them.”
The Nurtured Village will also host its first fundraising event tonight to close perinatal mental health week with the sell-out event highlighting mental health of mothers and mothers-to-be.