17 June 2021
If you are Kiara Perizi it is to help others.
When Kiara’s birthday was approaching in late May she told her mum Alison Perizi she wanted to help others after asking her about a documentary she was watching called “See What You Made Me Do”.
“I saw it was on TV and I asked my mum what domestic violence meant and she told me,” Kiara said.
“So I thought I could fundraise for it.”
Kiara raised $1000 by asking her friends not to give her gifts but make a donation to the Illawarra Women’s Health Centre.
Mrs Perizi was watching the documentary because domestic violence had been in the news a lot recently and said she felt so proud when Kiara said she wanted to do something to help.
“She wanted women and girls to feel safe and have somewhere to go where they can get help,” she said.
“She had a party with a purpose and on her invites she explained in lieu of gifts she was fundraising to help the Illawarra Women’s Health Centre to support women and girls who have been impacted by domestic violence. We set up a birthday fundraising page where they could make a donation and also send a message.”
Kiara was blown away not just by the generosity of her friends and their families but the favourable comments about what she was doing.
Mrs Perizi said some parents contacted her curious about why Kiara decided to do it.
“Many of them wanted to thank Kiara for opening up discussions in their household,” she said.
“They said “because Kiara has done this it has opened up meaningful conversations in our homes”.”
“It was really great to see all those good things come out of it. She was grateful to have a party with all her friends. But she is quite an insightful young girl and said to me “mummy in 20 years time I am not going to look back and remember what presents I got but I will remember that I supported my community”.”
“She told me she wants to double the amount she raises next year.”
The birthday fundraiser has also inspired some of Kiara’s friends. Two of them are creating a dance and asked her to be involved in it when they perform it at the Botanic Gardens to raise funds for their school.
Kindness is something that runs in the Perizi family. In 2020 Kiara’s younger brother Dante fundraised for Southern Youth and Family Services for his fifth birthday.
Illawarra Women’s Health Centrecommunity liaison/client support manager Miranda Batchelor said Kiara’s wish was for the money she raised to go to the victims/survivors of domestic and family violence.
It will be used for a variety of things such as crisis response support for mothers when they are trying to seek safety with their child or children.
“It could also go towards keeping our domestic violence case worker,” she said.
“That is something we got funding for during COVID and that is about to run out. This may mean we are able to keep her for a little bit longer. She has been such a huge addition to our team.”
Ms Batchelor said Illawarra Women’s Health Centre was very thankful and grateful for Kiara’s support and for what she has done to inspire her generation to get in the community and help each other out.
Mrs Perizi police and community organisations do an amazing job but individuals in the community can also help by raising awareness, learning the signs, learning where people can get help and fundraising.
She said a whole of community approach will definitely help.
Kiara’s birthday fundraising page has reopened and her new goal is to raise $5000 by July2, 2021.