Over 20 years ago I answered a call for volunteers to assist with the meal service provided by Angels Kitchen for homeless and needy persons. This has been a most rewarding experience and has led to many lasting friendships.
It is so gratifying to see the appreciation of our recipients. Every Sunday we are told “that is the best meal I have ever had!”
We volunteers feel so blessed to have been gifted with not only food donations but other ways of showing folk less fortunate that someone cares. A young family comes each week with a supply of non-perishable food for the homeless and needy persons to have during the week. A group of hairdressers provide free haircuts every six weeks. Donations of clothing and toiletries are a regular occurrence.
Angels Kitchen is all about team effort – not only the team of volunteers who attend every Sunday, but also the team of benefactors without whose donations, large and small, we would not have managed to provide a meal every Sunday for the last 25 years.
Angel’s Kitchen Volunteer
My role as a Hospital Pastoral Care Worker (HPCW) is a personal response to God’s loving call. It requires special training and skills operating under a positive motivation and holistic approach. I call it the proper attachment of the heart and mind to do Jesus’ healing and companioning ministry. My work is a gift for it relates and journeys gently and skillfully with the inner world of patients/clients from all walks of life. My role, is to provide one-to-one bedside visitation, support and comfort to patients or clients and their families as required thus bringing the gift of listening, compassionate heart and non-judgmental presence. I operate on a referral basis and receives requests from Nursing staff, Physicians, Social Workers, Patient Representatives, Clergy/Priests, Sunday Special Ministers, Parishioners and outside the hospital needs. Part of my job is to respond to crisis and emergency calls, offer End-of-life support and Bereavement Care, do patient advocacy and liaise with other Allied Health workers by coordinating, organising, training, delegating and ministering in a calm and gentle manner.
My ministry as a HPCW is an art of facilitating and providing patients to find their way to worship through prayers and blessings and to reconcile and forgive oneself and others. It provides emotional and spiritual support to patient’s adjusting to illness or searching for meaning and purpose during difficult times.
Being a HPCW at the Gold Coast University Hospital, I also collaborate with our Parish Priest and his Associates for all Sacramental needs of patients and Liturgical program preparation. My role is open to other faiths and beliefs or none as part of the Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care team.
In some cases, as a HPCW, I also provide spiritual care and support to medical staff and Colleagues. I am committed to respecting people’s privacy, maintaining confidentiality, respect for policies that apply to ministry and committed to self-care and professional developments. The life of a HPCW is also focused on personal and communal prayers and in the celebration of the Eucharist. I report, and I’m accountable to Centacare in the Archdiocese of Brisbane.
Hospital Pastoral Care Worker (HPCW)
Gold Coast University Hospital
For 16 years as a volunteer, I have enjoyed bringing hope and love of Christ to the sick and dying at the Gold Coast Hospital and then here at the new Gold Coast University Hospital. It really gives me a great feeling of satisfaction and blessings to serve the people of God.
Catholic Chaplaincy Volunteer
Gold Coast University Hospital
St Vincent De Paul
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society enjoys a good reputation in the community for assisting people in need, not only because of our association in the Southport Catholic Parish with priests of the Vincentian order, but also because of the great work of men and women who have volunteered in our country for many years. The parish hosts two groups which continue the traditions of Saint Vincent de Paul. Called conferences, one is in Southport, the other at Ashmore – each seeking to support those in need with a ‘Hand Up – not a Hand Out’.
The most frequent requests are for help with food, sometimes for clothing, furniture or household goods. Occasionally people seek assistance with a bill – electricity, phone, rent, car registration, or to facilitate a No Interest (NILS) loan to purchase a fridge, a computer or an item of furniture. The Society’s website qld.vinnies.org.au provides more detailed information. The preferred interview method is through visitation in the home but support centre visits also take place. Underpinning whatever is provided, is encouragement and support for those we assist to learn how to manage their affairs, so as to be able to meet routine expenses – again a ‘Hand Up – not a Hand Out’.
All conference members are volunteers, some do home visits, some support centre interviews and others assemble food parcels for distribution.
Apart from conference work there are also other avenues for volunteers to be involved in the Society’s activities: volunteering in Vinnies shops, on the Helpline and Donation line (call centre) or with the acceptance and processing of donations at the depot in Allied Drive.
So, if you are inclined to give some of your time to support the work of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society please contact one of the following, or indeed any member of the Southport or Ashmore conferences.
Ashmore, Mary Immaculate Conference
Sharne – 0408 741 527 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Southport, Guardian Angels Conference
Greg – 0425 068 077 or email email@example.com
Arundel Depot, Allied Drive – 1800 VINNIES (1800 846 643)