Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - 2016 YOUR GUIDE TO CHRISTMAS -

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.

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