WHEN Tecoma mother Emma Ryan found herself crying while driving home from hospital one afternoon, she was grateful to have a sympathetic ear on the other end of her phone line.
It wasn't a family member or close girlfriend she was talking to — it was a woman from local group Chicks for Charity, an organisation created five years ago by 12 women who grew up together in Knox.
Mrs Ryan still grows teary thinking of the emotional and financial support they offered last year when her then four-year-old son was diagnosed with kidney cancer.
"They're just an ordinary group of mums but what they do is amazing," she said. "They know as a mum you just have to keep going — they're just a beautiful bunch of people."
Chicks for Charity fund-raise throughout the year to support families going through difficult times.
One of their main events is an annual party night at Calibar in Scoresby — it will be held this Saturday night with live entertainment, door prizes and finger food.
The Chicks are hoping to attract more than 200 people to the party.
This year they have already supported a single mother recovering from meningococcal disease, a little girl battling cancer and a boy suffering from an aggressive brain tumour.
Last year, they gave Mrs Ryan's son Jackson an iPad to keep him occupied while undergoing treatment and an electrical thermometer.
"I would never have thought of getting him an iPad, but Jackson just loves it. I am making a scrapbook with photos of him and most of them have the iPad in it as well," Mrs Ryan says, laughing.
After a coup of winning a $10,000 Harvey Norman voucher last year, the Chicks raffled off goods bought with that voucher. But the charity's secretary Sally Goyne said the group was back to square one.
In five years, more than $100,000 has been raised for people in need across Knox and in surrounding areas.
Ms Goyne said the group's focus was primarily on women and children they could help. Emotional support was incredibly important.
"Often it is the emotional lift that is most rewarding. Money can be secondary," she said.
It is a thought echoed by Mrs Ryan who urged people to support the local charity. "If anyone can help them, (to) help us, do it."