Where to find help for a stranger in need
I was out for a walk a few days ago and was approached by an older gent who asked for my help. He was polite and softly spoken, and explained that he was from out of town and wondered if I could give him a few dollars.
I was blocks from work or home, and had nothing on me, other than my keys. I explained that I couldn’t help with money, but that I was sure there were some good places down town who probably do offer some help for people in his situation.
Thinking I might not believe his story, he rummaged through the small pouch he was carrying and produced some paperwork. I noticed a Centrelink logo on one piece of paper, but assured him I didn’t need to see all that and so he popped it back into the pouch.
I shared this story with another local who, hesitatingly, suggested you do have to be careful because there are some people about who are just trying to ‘con’ some money.
But I wanted to believe this bloke on the street, and wanted to steer him in the direction of one of the local organisations that could give him the help he needed.
But who? I rattled off a couple of wellknown community names, but wasn’t 100 per cent sure which would be best to help him.
Whilst it’s unusual, it’s not the first time I’ve been in this situation in Dubbo, and I’m guessing I’m not the only person who would like to help when someone asks for a few dollars.
I made a few calls this week to find out which organisations can help, so that you and me both will know what to suggest the next time we’re asked for money.
The Dubbo Neighbourhood Centre (DNC) is an excellent starting point for community information, where you can access a very long list of local community organisations and how each can help in all sorts of situations. That list is available by calling the DNC on 6883 2300 or heading to their website www.dnc.org.au.
They were able to suggest to me several local organisations that help in situations like the one I’ve described above. One was Emmanuel Care Centre at 177 Brisbane Street opposite the RSL. I spoke to one of the staff there who confirmed they can provide emergency food relief along with EPA vouchers, a State Government system that can help pay for things like electricity in dire situations, but there is an eligibility process that needs to be followed.
While no one organisation in Dubbo that I’ve been made aware of offers 24/7 food relief, between several local groups, including the Emmanuel Care Centre, many of the hours each week are covered.
And don’t forget there’s the Community Kitchen at Holy Trinity each Friday night. I know a few people who volunteer there and I’m sure more volunteers would be welcome.
So where does the food come from that places like the Emmanuel Care Centre are able to provide to people who can’t afford a meal? As you’ll read in one of our special features in today’s Dubbo Photo News, Village Bakery is one of the local businesses that donates left-over but still good food to these causes. It’s a great initiative which stops food wastage – a real win-win situation.
As one person I spoke to about this said, unfortunately, there are some out there who try to make a living out of asking for donations, but most people who ask are in need, some are desperate for help.
We’ll follow this up with more information in the coming weeks here in Dubbo Photo News.
Mel wins a Trike Adventure
CONGRATULATIONS to Mel Dait who is the lucky winner of the Dubbo Photo News/trike Adventures First Christmas Lights Tour Giveaway. The competition, which has been running over the past few weeks, asked the question, “What would Santa like for Christmas?”
Mel’s answer was: “Santa would like to see every child happy on Christmas Day.”
And so would we all!
How an election works
WE don’t give ourselves enough credit for the political system we enjoy in Australia. Columnist Greg Smart has written a very interesting piece this week, addressed openly to the people of the USA, which explains the differences between our system of voting and theirs. Greg is correct – ours is much better, making for a better democracy. Make sure you read Greg’s column because it also gives an insight into what happens when the Aussie polls close at 6pm each election day.
Another nice addition
I GAVE a plug here a few weeks ago to some of the new works happening around town, particularly by Council staff. And Dubbo Photo News’ sports team of Geoff Mann and Mel Pocknall have been following the changes happening at Lady Cutler, and Victoria Park No.2 and No.3 Ovals.
One addition we haven’t shown our readers yet is this semi-shaded outdoor ‘lounge’ (pictured) which has been built on the Dubbo Bowling Club side of No.2 Oval, near the WPCC. It adds a great little feature to the area. Thumbs up.
Watching cricket from “The Hill”: The works done this year at Victoria Park No.2 Oval include this pair of outdoor chairs, build on a slight rise overlooking the new picket fence.