Fostering Hope: local mums share desire to help children in need


Tara Mitchell with Scarlett (2) and Tommy (7 months), and Catherine Sharbanee with Ben (3) and Ethan (3 months). Picture: Jon Hewson
Tara Mitchell with Scarlett (2) and Tommy (7 months), and Catherine Sharbanee with Ben (3) and Ethan (3 months). Picture: Jon Hewson

STRANGERS until just last week, Tara Mitchell and Catherine Sharbanee connected online through a shared desire to help children born into abusive and neglectful circumstances.

Now the Perth mums are appealing to the community to attend a Tompkins Park play date benefitting Fostering Hope, a group that collects and stores donations of clothing, toiletries and toys for foster carers across the city.

Mrs Sharbanee discovered Mrs Mitchell through her Facebook page The Gentle Sleep Specialist and reached out after reading a post about her dismay at the seemingly constant stream of news stories detailing the abuse and neglect of children.

“There are too many children living without love and without hope,” Mrs Mitchell said.

“Showing support to these families who take in our most vulnerable children is the least we can do.

“We want to ensure Fostering Hope has a quality supply of clothes and equipment so these families have access to the essentials they need.”

Taking place at the end of the month, the free play date will include a bouncy castle, petting zoo and face painting.

Those planning on head along are asked to bring donations of “as new” clothing, shoes, nappies, books, toys and baby equipment.

Also in attendance will be a number of foster parents and the children currently in their care.

“Foster families can get children of all different ages, boys and girls, summer or winter and with virtually no notice they will open their door to somebody in need,” Mrs Mitchell said.

“The aim of this event is to show these incredible people that we as a community care about them and want to be there to support them and their families.”

Fostering Hope volunteers are currently storing donations at their homes. Due to limited storage facilities, those attending the play date are asked to limit their donations to one box per family.

What: Play date for Fostering Hope

Where: Tompkins Park

When: 10am to 1pm, Sunday, October 30

Entry: One box of donations – children’s clothing, toiletries, toys etc