LIFE

'Two Good' Campaign Gives A Pamper Pack To Your Mum And A Mother In Need

A perfect gift this Mother's Day, or all year round.

08/05/2017 1:37 PM AEST | Updated 08/05/2017 2:18 PM AEST

On a Tuesday evening in May, a group of 60 joined around a lavishly-set table in Sydney for dinner.

Thirty tickets were sold, and 30 were donated to domestic violence survivors living in two safe houses.

The evening celebrated the launch of the 'Two Good Care' campaign, an initiative by social enterprise 'Two Good' that delivers lovingly-prepared lunches and luxury care packs to women's shelters and soup kitchens.

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A simple message with resounding impact.

"It was beautiful. There was a wholesome feeling of love in the room," co-founder Robert Caslick told HuffPost Australia.

One of the most debilitating things about domestic violence is that it strips a person of their self worth. Receiving a gift like this is a gesture that signifies they are worthy of love and respect. Robert Caslick

"No one knew who had paid for a ticket and who hadn't... It was only one night, but it was a distraction, a demonstration that we believe in their self-worth."

Two Good began about seven years ago when Caslick, an engineer, opened an organic soup kitchen with three of his mates in Sydney's Kings Cross.

"Many of the people we served were using heavy recreational and medicinal drugs, so we decided to serve up food that was as clean as possible," Caslick told Huffpost Australia.

"Two years ago, we started thinking about how we could upscale our service without asking for money. The 'buy one, give one' model appealed to what we were doing."

Soon enough, Two Good became a lunch delivery service, offering restaurant quality lunches to city workers. Using recipes provided by some of the country's top chefs -- Neil Perry, Kylie Kwong and Ben Shewry, to name a few -- a fresh salad in a jar is delivered to your office, via Deliveroo, and another is given to a woman in need.

Two Good currently supports eight refuges in Sydney, as well as the Newtown Community Centre and Wayside Chapel, and three in Melbourne.

Under supervision from a head chef, the meals are prepared by women from these refuges.

"This is not only employment, but a training opportunity. We have partnered with Tafe NSW to provide free training for the girls so that they can use this as a stepping stone. They come in and make the food, and hopefully we can then source employment for them post Two Good," Caslick said.

In two years, 20,000 lunches had been given away. And so, in 2015, Two Good broadened its scope.

"I reached out to a woman who was a domestic violence survivor and consultant to see how we could do things better. She wrote me a beautiful letter," Caslick said.

Lisa McAdams penned her experience of entering a refuge, as the "best and worst day of my life".

"There was a sense of relief that for the first time in a long time, I wasn't alone. I had a team of people whose job it was to help me rebuild my life and keep me safe.

When people think of domestic violence, they think about the abuse I suffered, but rarely what was missing -- love, affection and care. The day I arrived at the refuge, I was handed some basics, shampoo, conditioner, soap. I was grateful to receive them as I had arrived without my own toiletries. The thing that touched my heart about it was they were wrapped in cellophane with a pretty purple bow. This small act of kindness was so pivotal in my healing...

It may seem like a small thing to provide a beautiful organic lunch in a jar. But trust me as someone who has been there. Receiving a Two Good jar could be the small act that makes a big difference to someone who has lost everything."

Caslick vowed to recreate this "purple bow moment' for more women with the Two Good Care campaign.

"For her, it wasn't the fact that she had been given toiletries. It was the fact that someone had gone to the effort of neatening this bow. It demonstrated to her that maybe she was worth something. That is our whole premise," Caslick said.

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The natural products have been lovingly made in collaboration with Nourished Life.

Using a similar 'buy one, give' one' model, 570 luxury care packs -- including natural, toxin-free shampoo, conditioner, cleanser and moisturiser -- were sent out to refuges across New South Wales in 2015.

"One of the most debilitating things about domestic violence is that it strips a person of their self worth. Receiving a gift like this is a gesture that signifies they are worthy of love and respect," Caslick said.

In 2016, the campaign has been broken into two: Care packs can be purchased ahead of Mother's Day (before May 9 to ensure delivery time), or members of the public can choose to donate to a national Kickstarter campaign to continue the project all year round.

One of the things that we know about domestic violence is that on average it takes about seven attempts for a woman to leave an abusive partner. A demonstration of love and care from the community is an influencing factor.Robert Caslick

"We are asking people to go large and make this a full-time campaign to enable us to continue delivering these care packs," Caslick said.

Raising $16,000 to date (as of May 8), Caslick and his team are aiming for $30,000 to reach their goal.

The campaign would pave the way for Two Good to become a national provider of luxury care and food products to safe houses across the country.

"Food is difficult to reach regional areas, but these care packs aren't. These are temporary things and they may be small, but if they can make that time a little more comfortable for a woman, then it's worth it.

"One of the things that we know about domestic violence is that on average it takes about seven attempts for a woman to leave an abusive partner. A demonstration of love and care from the community is an influencing factor. If we can, as a community, show more love towards these women, then perhaps they may feel more comfortable to not return."

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