Show­ing we care

Sound Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - Thomp­son

Bal­divis woman Cather­ine Smith was mo­ti­vated by a desire to bring her com­mu­nity to­gether dur­ing its time of cri­sis when she set about form­ing an online group to help those strug­gling dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­demic.

Her ef­forts have re­ceived a mas­sive re­sponse from lo­cals, with 500 mem­bers now a part of the Bal­divis Com­mu­nity Care group.

Read the in­spir­ing story of com­mu­nity spirit.

Af­ter wit­ness­ing peo­ple across the com­mu­nity strug­gle to get ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties from store, a Bal­divis woman has taken ac­tion to get help for those iso­lated and in need.

Cather­ine Smith posted on Facebook page Bal­divis Chat say­ing she was happy to help any­one self-iso­lat­ing or who could not get their hands on es­sen­tial items.

The re­sponse was over­whelm­ing.

“I felt as though I wanted to bring the com­mu­nity to­gether to help each other as I was see­ing so much neg­a­tiv­ity online,” Ms Smith said.

“Stress can al­ter ev­ery­one's abil­ity to cope and I thought it would be a good idea to re­di­rect the stress by lend­ing a hand to those in need within the com­mu­nity.”

Ms Smith formed a Facebook page called Bal­divis Com­mu­nity Care, which now has al­most 500 mem­bers.

“We are shar­ing use­ful in­for­ma­tion and also link­ing peo­ple to the Oak­well com­mu­nity pantry in Bal­divis if they need ac­cess to any pantry items or have any­thing to do­nate,” she said.

“As peo­ple start to lose jobs, it will be es­sen­tial that we work to­gether as a com­mu­nity to help our neigh­bours get through the com­ing months.

“It has put a smile on many peo­ples’ faces know­ing that kind­ness is still rife and peo­ple won’t be left to won­der how they are go­ing to man­age in the days of un­cer­tainty.”

Ms Smith said she also had a lot of help from Bal­divis MLA Reece Whitby, es­pe­cially when it came to reach­ing el­derly res­i­dents who would most likely not see the Facebook page.

“I asked Reece Whitby’s office what they had in place al­ready and they said they had a list of el­derly res­i­dents and also a vol­un­teer reg­is­ter for those that could help,” she said. "They helped me by print­ing 400 fly­ers to hand out to peo­ple. My chil­dren and I went on Tuesday morn­ing at 7am when the shops opened to the el­derly and handed out the fly­ers with my name and contact num­ber.

“If they feel iso­lated or are in fact need­ing help then they have a point of contact, if we can help we will, or at least we will pro­vide the in­for­ma­tion they needed to as­sist them. If hand­ing out fly­ers at least helped one per­son, that is bet­ter than noth­ing.”

Ms Smith said she had both the el­derly and sin­gle mums reach out to her for as­sis­tance.

“In the com­ing days I hope to be able to get more fly­ers out to the com­mu­nity so that they know they are not alone” she said.

It has put a smile on many peo­ples’ faces know­ing that kind­ness is still rife.

Cather­ine Smith

Cather­ine Smith, Caleb, 3, and Ja­cob, 8, helped to hand out fly­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.