A young man came in to St John’s Care last week, after it was suggested to him by his mental health worker. He had not attended the Centre before and was unaware of the assistance we could provide. I explained how St John’s Care works and that we offer emergency relief and support.
He had just applied for Centrelink payments for the first time in his life. His parents never wanted him to receive payment from Centrelink as they believed receiving payments have bad connotations.
Gary (not his real name) explained that he had lost his job two weeks ago due to his mental health. He didn’t want to apply for Centrelink as he felt embarrassed that he had been unable to find work and was worried what his parents would think. He told me that he no longer gets on with his family so he couldn’t ask them for help.
Gary cried with the volunteer who was assisting him and explained the challenges he and his family have faced over the past year.
He is a father to a one year old and lives with his girlfriend. She is on a low income and was proud that she had always financially supported herself. Now they are together and have a baby they feel very lost because they don’t have any family support.
After speaking with me as well as the volunteer, we referred this young couple to Raw Potential to see how they might be able to support them. We gave him some groceries as well as clothing for both parents and their baby.
As they left, they reported that they were feeling brighter, less stressed and were very thankful for all the assistance, especially the opportunity to talk to someone and not feel judged.
Sometimes our donors ask me this question. “Jason, if I give you $200 what would you buy?” These are some of the items:
• I could pay for 30 prescriptions for people who might need them for medical conditions.
• I could buy 16 kilos of mincemeat that will feed 32 families.
• I could buy 2 Backpack beds for the homeless.
• I could support 4 families with their gas bill.
• I could buy a trolley load of fresh fruit and vegetables for 20 families.
• A course of Seasons for Growth (grief and loss program)
If you would like to make a donation to us please feel free to come into the Centre or go to our website: www.stjohnscare.org.au
I am planning our next Friday community lunch on the 6th of September. (Yes, I know. I can’t believe it’s almost September) The Friday community lunches are open for all to attend.
Items: 1 kg washing powder, shampoo and conditioner, tinned fruit and biscuits
Programs and Fundraising Manager