Last week St John’s Care received a call from a young man asking if we were still open. Let’s call him Thomas (not his real name). Thomas and I discussed his situation and I told him that we closed the centre at 2pm Monday to Friday.
After this discussion it became very clear that we needed to make sure that he had food for his family overnight. He arrived at the centre within 15 minutes. I made up a bag of food, gave him bus tickets and asked him to come back tomorrow so we could sit down, have a chat and work out a plan for him.
The next day Thomas came back as he said he would. He arrived with two little girls under the age of three. One of the little girls wasn’t very well. We discussed getting her to a doctor. Thomas told me that he couldn’t afford to take her to a doctor. I called around and found one that would bulk bill as a one off. I advised Thomas to take his daughter to the doctor and let him know that we could help with filling the prescription if she needed one.
He broke down and started to cry as he felt that he was a bad father. Thomas was doing everything that he could as a single Dad, paying for a private rental, and things had become very hard for him.
Thomas and I sat down and worked out a plan for him. We contacted other services that could help. These included Care Inc. for financial counselling; Centrelink, as he wasn’t receiving the parenting payment because his paperwork was not in order; Street Law, to help him stay in his private rental until a government house becomes available and One link, to see if they could help with the rental.
I gave him a foodbank card and a list of where he could buy cheaper food. While we were chatting, our amazing volunteers sat with his daughters so Thomas could have a little break.
Last week prior to Mother's Day we had a gift table set up. There was a lovely selection of gifts and we invited our Mums or anyone who would like a gift to give to their mothers. We particularly targeted our single Mums as they are unlikely to receive any recognition for the great job they are doing.
We had some lovely gifts. They included items that have been donated during the year which we had put aside for the weeks before Mother's Day. Thomas saw the gifts and asked if he could take one for his mother. He chose a gift for his mother and I gave him one just to brighten his day. When he left, he said that he felt like a new person.
ST JOHN'S CARE WINTER APPEAL
We launched our Annual St John’s Care Winter Appeal last Sunday. Please pop into the Centre or ring us today with your credit card details on 6248 7771, if you are able to donate.
You can also Direct Debit your donation to our St John's Care account BSB: 702 389 Account No: 05209490. Please send an email with your details to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can send you a tax-deductible receipt.
Or you can donate online by going to www.stjohnscare.org.au
Our remarkable volunteers repair and restore wooden puzzles for early childhood centres, preschools and for anyone who would like to fix a wooden puzzle that needs repair. They are looking for more to do. If you would like any more information, please call the Centre on 6248 7771
We value your support which enables us to help our clients during the winter months. All donated funds remain in Canberra.
Items Requested: Pasta sauce, Honey, Shampoo & Conditioner, 500ml Tomato sauce.