We so often use the word ‘relief’ in a casual way. “It’s such a relief the weekend has arrived after a long week at work”, or “I’m relieved the bushfires seem to be under control”. But I wonder if we take the idea of relief for granted and don’t stop to think what it can actually mean or look like for people under pressure.
Recently I’ve seen the human face of relief when I’ve been supporting young people who are homeless.
When their payments have been accidentally suspended by Centrelink and they are at the point of stealing food because they are that desperate, ‘relief’ is the look they have on their face when they’re given an emergency relief food package from St John’s Care.
‘Relief’ is the tears in their eyes when you recognise that a whole team of beautiful people worked together and that people don’t need to resort to desperate measures to feed their family for the next couple of days.
‘Relief’ is when you have a safe roof over your head for the first time in nine years. It means you can finally breathe and sleep properly (even though you don’t yet have a bed) simply because you’re safe.
‘Relief’ is when a support service like Raw Potential can go the extra mile and see to it that you can access critical appointments and keep you afloat when life is overwhelming.
The lead-up to the Christmas season is always a challenging and stressful time for young people and families facing financial hardship. The challenge for each of us is to ask ourselves what relief means to us and what we can do to bring some relief to others in need.
At SJC we continually thank the many kind people who make relief happen for people in need.
People have been asking what we need to help fill the Christmas Present Room this year and what food we need to fill the hampers. Here are suggestions for toys: Lego, Dolls, Trucks/Cars (Hot Wheels and larger cars), games/puzzles, Cricket sets, Basket Balls, Water Play/sport
Barbie, AFL, Rugby, Soccer equipment.
We would appreciate gift cards (e.g. EB Games, Rebel Sport, JB Hi Fi, Target) for the teenagers for $20 to $30 per card. These help a lot as it is difficult to find presents for this age group.
SJC Programs and Fundraising Manager
Items required this week: 500ml cooking oil, 1 litre long life milk, coffee and sweet biscuits.
Drop off your donations at St John's Care Monday to Friday 9.30 am to 2 pm. Your non-perishable food donations can be placed in the bin outside the St John's hall Saturday and Sunday between 10 am and 4 pm.