'Horrific images' of children caught up in the Israel-Hamas conflict has resulted in a call to action with one Bendigo mum and business owner keen to do her part ahead of a rally in Rosalind Park on November 24.
"I can't just do nothing," Siren Lash Artistry Bendigo owner Paige said.
"There is a community sense of helplessness."
Paige has described seeing "horrific" images on social media from a range of Palestinian journalists, politically engaged friends and content creators she followed since the war began on October 7.
"And these were horrific images - they're burnt into my brain," she said.
It inspired the mother and lash technician to do her part through her discounted lash applications on November 19.
All money raised from the discount day will go towards Save the Children, Droplets of Mercy, and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) charities.
Paige's efforts locally were inspired by another Bendigo business, Black Wren Tattoo, which raised $5500 on November 12.
These businesses are not alone - there is an upcoming Bendigo vigil for Gaza in Rosalind Park on November 24, and Bendigo La Trobe University's Islamic Student Society has organised recent prayer vigils and fundraising barbecues.
"The fact that all I was seeing, time and time again, was children, children, children," Paige said of images coming out of the war zone.
"That really shook me because I'm a mum."
Paige said nobody should be experiencing "the horrors that are unfolding".
"It is unequivocally soul crushing how useless and helpless it feels to be watching, comfortable in bed, warm and safe, my child in the next room, also warm and safe," she said.
As well as the business fundraisers and the upcoming rally in Bendigo, there are also weekly protests in Jaara Park Castlemaine organised by Free Palestine Central Victoria - who are pushing for a ceasefire, the return of all hostages and immediate aid for Gazans.
Since October 7, Israel claims around 1200 people - both civilians and soldiers - have been killed mainly in Hamas attacks, with an estimated 239 hostages held in Gaza.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza claims more than 11,000 people have been killed in the territory since the same date - mostly by Israeli air strikes.
Paige said, since announcing her fundraiser, she had received some abuse on social media, but the vast majority of her clients had seen her initiative as a positive thing and were keen to learn more.
"It's the only topic that's been in this room for the past two weeks," she told the Bendigo Advertiser.
She said she did not want to talk "for" Palestinian people, but wanted to amplify the messages of the journalists she followed - "the ones that are alive".
She said the Palestinian people were "not one and the same as Hamas", and she didn't support any violence - nor did anyone else she knew who was calling for a ceasefire.
"I want to be able to say, I did what I could."
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