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Out of a tragedy, hope is born: A donation changing lives

Published by marketingsisterworks on

In 2017 a plane crashed into a shopping centre in Essendon leaving 5 people dead. The tragedy affected the families of the occupants (4 US citizens and the Australian pilot), and the ordeal was recognized as the worst civil aviation accident in Victoria in the last 30 years.

A Spotlight Store was the most affected of the retail complex since the plane crashed directly into its walls and part of the roof. Although the plane caused more structural damage than anything, all the craft materials, home appliances, fabrics and Spotlight merchandise, were written off the insurance company. Everything that was on the premises, even if not a drop of water or a flame of fire touched it, could not be sold to customers. But what to do if the useful life of those objects hadn’t even started? Everyone at Spotlight knew this was an opportunity for a greater good.


Dahlia Sable, CEO of the Spotligth Foundation, and the SisterWorks women during her visit to our Richmond home.

Dahlia, Director of the Spotlight Foundation, had the responsibility of reviewing the quality of every single item to ensure its condition was nothing but perfect. Then, whilst the Foundation’s team was deciding where to donate the products, a wonderful coincidence brought together Luz (our CEO) and Dahlia.

The aftermath of the happy encounter left SisterWorks as the beneficiary of a generous donation from the Spotlight Foundation. We recently received their truck full of sewing machines, irons, drawers, food processors, blenders, mixers, kitchen equipment, fabrics, threads, knitting needles and a list that goes on with materials that fit perfectly into our SisterWorks craft activities.

Some of the donations we designated for future projects, such as Hello Sister, where we will need sewing machines, irons and different tools to travel around Melbourne community centres spreading our reach and supporting more women. Other items, such as kitchen appliances, have gone straight to our Kitchen Program where the army of entrepreneurs are already using them in the cooking of the jams and preserves we are offering as part of our SisterWorks food range, available through our stores, online and selected wholesale partners.        

However, we wanted to share the love, and simply could not take such a big donation just for ourselves.  


In the non-for-profit and social enterprises world, competition is not really competition. We’re all in this together, working to spread good in the world, to support vulnerable individuals and families or to take care of the environment, amongst other causes. That is why we worked in partnership with so many non-for-profits and promote their causes; we all cater to similar groups, but in different stages of their life in this country.

One of these organisations is The West Welcome Wagon, a volunteer run not-for-profit dedicated to providing material aid and support to asylum seekers in Melbourne’s west. They were the ones who will receive the remaining donations from the Spotlight Foundation.  

Thus, after a very unfortunate event, hope is born. The impact of this donation will be directly received by the families (women, men and kids) with refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. As for SisterWorks, we will maximise the useful life of these objects, hopefully boosting our growth as a Social Enterprise.    

Categories: News


Rosalind Gray · 31/12/2018 at 5:13 pm

What a wonderful story to end the year.

Lisa McMahon · 31/05/2019 at 1:16 pm

Hi, I was just reviewing the Spotlight Foundation and came across this story. I have to say I envied your good fortune, in a very polite way, perhaps it is more accurate to say I empathised with receiving such good fortune.

I work for Endeavour Foundation as the Grant Specialist, seeking funding to drive community change and well being. We provide services to people with a disability, with particular attention to people with an intellectual disability, including Residential Accommodation and Support Services, Learning and Lifestyle Support Services, Supported Employment and Community Advocacy and Support Services. Endeavour Foundation is one of Australia’s most established providers in the disability sector.

One of the requests I regularly receive is funding for crafts, sewing machines, art supplies, knitting supplies and in my mind Spotlight is the place to go. We are a little far away to share your good fortune, however I know the joy that such opportunity can bring and wish you well in your projects.

    Online SisterWorks · 18/07/2019 at 1:09 pm

    Hi Lisa,

    Many thanks for your comment regarding our post. It is gratifying for us to receive comments like this.


    Pamela Mujica

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