In our family we have a tradition on Christmas Day of going around the table and asking each family member to tell the others what their highlights were from the last year. We also share what they are looking forward to in the coming year.
As I listened to each family member, I thought we all have everything we need and can pretty much have anything we want. But not everyone is as fortunate as we are.
I told them this year I had decided to support a charity that provided for the needs of the disadvantaged and the homeless. Many in need are in that position through no fault of their own.
My friend Liz and I love to work on projects together. Liz is a beautiful craftswoman. I am not a rich woman, but I have enough to share with others in need. As soon as we walked into St John’s Care, we knew this was the charity for us. The sense of a nonjudgmental, peaceful, friendly and genuinely caring environment was palpable. It was coming from the hearts of the staff and volunteers for those in need.
With a welcoming smile they identify and provide for the specific needs of each individual and family who come through the door. What a wonderful service to the Canberra community.
We offered to support their work by asking them what their clients needed that they did not receive from the other avenues of very generous support . We wanted to know what we could buy or make that would make a difference to the lives of the clients they support.
This year Liz has made stunning scarves and throw rugs for the volunteers and staff to give to those who needed them. With some financial support from my daughter and Liz we have bought many new towels, ladies’ undies, children’s socks, thick stockings, leggings for women in winter and warm socks for men.
We have bought new small kitchen appliances, doona covers, kitchen utensils and many other things that the volunteers let us know people needed. We often tied a ribbon around the items and attached a note that said this is just for you.
We don’t know, nor do we need to know, who received our gifts. What we do know is that this has been the most personally fulfilling project we have ever done together.
Knowing that someone in the Canberra community will be given something new - just for them in their time of need - and that this small gesture will bring a smile, a sense of relief in an otherwise dark day, a feeling of not being alone and that someone cares makes us smile too.
To lighten the load of others, with no expectations of anything in return is the most rewarding experience we have ever shared.
That is why we donate to St John’s Care and will continue to do so.
Items required: Large tins of tuna, school snacks, tinned fruit, sugar, tinned lentils.