Care packages deliver hope to vulnerable Aussies

She’s one of many vulnerable Australians whose health is at-risk. With a comprised immune system, she’s unable to step outside. And with family overseas and her son stuck in isolation, suddenly she became low on supplies and unable to get to the supermarket. So she called Wesley Mission Newcastle.

“For her to know she can stay at home and have those things delivered to her, she was just incredibly thankful,” said Carmen, Learning and Development Specialist, Out-of-Home Care.

This story is becoming increasingly common. Every day, Wesley Mission Newcastle are receiving calls from people in their community who are struggling to access basic supplies at their local supermarket or unable to visit the supermarket because of their health.

Carmen is part of a team, led by Wesley Community Visitor Scheme Project Officer Dawn, who is meeting the needs of vulnerable people in Newcastle and NSW Central Coast, one care hamper at a time. Each care package is filled with basic food and toiletry supplies including pasta, biscuits, long-life milk, eggs, cereal, oats, tea bags, fresh fruit and feminine products. They’re also distributing food vouchers where needed.

“People who don’t always find themselves in these situations, they just don’t know where to go or what to do. At least if they can contact us, we can provide them with support straightaway,” Carmen said.

To adhere to the Australian Government’s new ‘social distancing’ measures (maintaining a minimum of 1.5 metres apart), the Newcastle team are completing contactless deliveries by leaving care packages at front doors, and when the opportunities arise, connecting with people through their windows.

“We’re dropping them off so people don’t to have to come in (Wesley Mission Newcastle). Just giving them a call, letting them know that we’re going to drop it at their doorstep and then asking them to wait until we leave to collect it,” Dawn explained.

And the stories of appreciation are flooding in. These small acts of kindness are not only impacting those most in need but the team at Wesley Mission.

“One lady was so appreciative when I dropped it off,” Dawn said. “You feel as though you’d made a difference to somebody, and that’s really important. Not only are we doing something for somebody else, but just that bit of a thank you makes a difference to your own mental health.”

Wesley Mission Newcastle will continue to deliver hampers to meet the ongoing growing needs in their community.

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