A large donation of clothing coordinated by the Daughters of Penelope of AHEPA will support patients in need at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Over 18 large bags, plus several boxes of children’s and adult clothing, books, toys and blankets were collected by the Daughters of Penelope of AHEPA, the women’s arm of the philanthropic community organisation the Australasian Hellenic Educational Progressive Association. The group, led by district president Louisa Melas, (pictured above right) began collecting items to donate after hearing about the needs of female patients and new mothers at RPA from midwife O’Bray Smith (above centre) and Shadow Minister for Ageing, Disability Services, and for Multiculturalism Sophie Cotsis (above left). “The morning after our first meeting I had a suitcase and three bags full of clothes that had been dropped off from one family. People were very willing to donate and to share,” Ms Melas said. For Ms Cotsis, helping the project come together has been heartwarming. “It continues to shock me, the number of victims of domestic violence, mental health patients, and women having babies that don’t have much, or have anything,” she said. Manager of postnatal ward 5W2 O’Bray knows how much the Daughters of Penelope of AHEPA donation will mean to patients in need. Media Centre “It’s not just about the clothes, it’s about empowering people. We have patients who come in with nothing; they might be homeless; they may have left a domestic violence relationship in the middle of the night; they may have come from another state or be elderly,” she said. “To be able to give them a change of clothes or something to dress their baby in almost always brings tears of joy.” Roshini Rajeswaran, RPA Volunteer’s Coordinator, said the donation would go a long way to supporting patients in need. “This is one of our biggest donations. We hand out clothes on a daily basis to patients who come in with nothing. We couldn’t do it without the generosity of these donations.” RPA volunteers will set about sorting the clothing and donated goods ready to be distributed to patients when needed.