During the Covid lock down Faye* had been anticipating Christmas time with her extended family. She used her Centrelink supplement payment to purchase food she knew the family would need at Christmas and had a good supply of well-chosen items in her freezer. Then, one morning she woke to find her freezer had stopped working! Her efforts had gone to waste.
- Not her real name
From Exodus Bread Team, Faye received weekly deliveries of donated bread (Baker’s Delight, Ivanhoe) and, more recently, fruit/veg (Big Fields, Gladstone Park). She reached out to Exodus to see if we would be able to assist in any way. Through Rotary contacts, we have been able to help get her freezer back running and from donations, especially from Marcellin College, Bulleen, OLMC Heidelberg, Rosanna Rotary Club and COM Bank we have been able to assist with restocking her larder and freezer in time for Christmas.
Without the humility to ask and the preparedness to receive support, Faye and her family would have been under greater stress. Credit to Faye for seeking assistance!
Exodus Community is in a wonderful position of being able to channel the generosity of many organizations and Groups to support individuals and families like Faye. Through the consistent work of our volunteers Exodus is able to distribute donated food, clothing, toiletries, vouchers and offer companionship and mutual advice.
We are regularly humbled by the generosity of supporters and are grateful to all for their ongoing trust and support. We acknowledge members of the Rotary Clubs of Heidelberg, Rosanna and Central Melbourne. Club members of Rosanna Rotary offer lovely Christmas hampers for distribution while Vouchers have been able to be purchased from donations from members of Heidelberg Rotary. New clothing items have been regularly donated through Central Melbourne Club.
Staff and students of OLMC Heidelberg have for many years partnered with Exodus in a variety of activities supporting people of Heidelberg West especially. The provision of individually served food for our annual Christmas function this year – and the “Buckets of Joy” (laundry buckets filled with Christmas foods) – was most appreciated. Our first gathering since March!
Students and staff at Marcellin College, Bulleen have also contributed significantly and we are delighted in the development of an ongoing programme of mutual sharing. Members of Quota of Heidelberg have supported Exodus families for many years and we welcomed members who could also volunteer at our regular weekly Drop In and lunch – until it was suspended in March. But Quota members continued their financial support.
This year the Heidelberg Branch of COM Bank made a generous donation to our works and that has also enabled us to make vouchers available to families we are involved with in the local area during this Christmas time. Occasionally we will be visited by individuals who donate significantly to our causes. Their trust and interest in our works is greatly valued as is their financial contribution and we are most grateful.
Exodus has been able to channel the support of many other individuals, organizations and groups to those in need throughout the year. Buttercups, Gilbert Family Trust, Sisters of Mercy, Members of Lions Club of Heidelberg – especially their knitters, Bendigo Community Bank, Miles Real Estate, Australian Catholic University and Merri Outreach Support Services have all made a difference in the lives of those in need.
We are particularly appreciative of other agencies with whom we partner and are encouraged. Included are Olympic Adult Education, SALT Foundation, Banyule Council, Open House, Bendigo Community Bank, Banyule Community Health Service, parish of St Pius X, Heidelberg West, 3081 Angels, Marist Brothers, Melbourne.
Like many, our hope is that 2021 is a less stressful year, but also one where we continue to work together, recognizing opportunities and struggles and take every opportunity to build a resilient, strong and proud community. Exodus members wish all readers a safe and happy Christmas and New Year season.
Br Harry Prout
Olympic Village Exodus Community
273 Liberty Parade
Heidelberg West Vic 3081
Phone: 9457 7593
Mobile: 0400 940 104