Last week, a young father Tommy (not his real name), came into St. John’s Care “to look around the Centre and see if he could be a volunteer”. He came with two of his five children who were off school because they were sick.
I met with him and we discussed the sort of volunteering roles we have here at SJC. I soon realised that what Tommy really needed was some assistance for himself. Like a lot of our clients he felt uncomfortable asking for help.
Tommy mentioned that he often has financial issues because he is only receiving Newstart while he waits for Centrelink to change his payment to a parenting benefit. His ex-girlfriend doesn’t see the kids anymore but hasn’t changed the payment over to him.
Because he was so overwhelmed, we sat down to make a plan. We contacted Care Financial to arrange financial counselling and arranged an appointment with Street Law for Tommy to see a lawyer.
He used to work part time but making ends meet has become very hard since he assumed full-time care of his family. It keeps him awake at night.
It’s the little things that get him down. He worries about getting the car registered and buying the kids school uniforms for summer.
To help ease his worries we sat down and drew up a list of other places he could approach for help. I also suggested that he call NILS to see if he would be eligible for a no interest loan.
When it was time for him to leave, he did so with a plan and a way forward. He was also happy to be able to feed his kids a meal with the fresh food and vegetables we gave him.
We rely on donations of non-perishable food to stock our shelves. Your donations provide people in need with immediate support.
From January to June this year, we received 2983 bags of food in kind in the Centre. We gave out these amazing donations to 1749 families and individuals in the Canberra community.
We are currently running low on financial donations which enable us to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. If you are able to assist, please donate on our website www.stjohnscare.org.au or call St. John’s Care with your card details on 6248 7771.
Essentials List for this week: Shampoo and conditioner, tinned fruit, biscuits (sweet and savoury) and 1 kg packets of washing powder.
Programs and Fundraising Manager