JOY OF SHARING CHRISTMAS CHEER
THEY are the volunteers who make Christmas for those who are less fortunate.
Volunteers at Manna, the Victoria Park-based charity that feeds the homeless, are packing hampers and putting meals together for disadvantaged people during the festive period.
The Southern Gazette spoke to some of the volunteers about the joy they get out of donating their time and effort.
Volunteer Carmel Beinart said she discovered Manna through word of mouth. “It’s not the highest profile charity but after attending an information session in March 2015, I felt totally humbled and invigorated by founder Beth Lowe,” she said.
“I started in the kitchen on Thursdays and I’ve gone to the park to help with the lunches; that’s where the magic happens.
“It’s an outstanding but simple service that we give to people and there is no judgement.
“Christmas is a special time so if we can minimise the negatives for people then that’s great.”
Volunteer Gail Vance said she started volunteering at Manna about 18 months ago after looking for something to do.
“I work in the kitchen and do whatever needs to be done on that particular day, I mainly like putting the desserts together though,” she said.
“Christmas aside, it’s good that we are help people whose circumstances aren’t so great.
“Christmas is a special time here, you just need to look around at all the people packing hampers.”
Volunteer Karen Beazley said she got involved after seeing the organisation featured on a current affairs program.
“I’ve got three kids and they’ve all helped out with packing things for Christmas here during previous years,” she said.
“I help here fortnightly in the kitchen and the atmosphere is lovely; I’ve made some great friendships. If there is anything I can do to improve other people’s Christmas then that’s better.”
Yasmin Ismail, Faisa Azzahra and Carmel Beinart. Gail Vance, Karen Beazley and Alice Wong.