Orange Sky Laundry
Late last year the club had the pleasure of hearing Lucas and Nick from Orange Sky Laundry present at our meeting. These young guys are doing incredible work in the Brisbane homeless community by providing a laundry service to those who need it most. What most impressed me (Kaye) was their practical understanding of what is required to make their charity work. They don't merely have a great idea, they also know how to make it a reality. I joined them one Thursday morning in December to check it out for myself and give them a hand. I really enjoyed the experience of getting to learn about the day-to-day details of what they do. Nick was our "guide" on the day and it was so impressive to see the rapport he has built with the people he is assisting. For the most part it's some of the easiest volunteering I've ever done! The van is so well thought out, and once the clothes are in all we have to do is spend the time engaging with the people that want to speak to us. The boys are currently working on plans to extend to Cairns and the Gold Coast, so keep an eye out for them and their Orange vans!
Christmas Lunch Update
Now that we’ve had 24 hours or so to catch our breath, Leigh and I would like to thank you all most sincerely for the exceptional part you played in bringing so much pleasure to so many people on Christmas Day.
I understand we served around 160 meals to guests and helpers and clearing up afterwards was made much easier simply because there was so little left to pack up! Many thanks to those who helped us set up the tables beforehand and clear up afterwards.
A few special mentions are well deserved:
Firstly, we thank the management of MIFQ (Mental Illness Fellowship Queensland), who have supported the event from Day 1. Our heartfelt gratitude goes to Birgit and Julie, who manage the bookings and keep us on track, ably supported by Sharon and the Homeless Health Outreach Team.
To Father John and Christine at St Peter’s Anglican Church in Southport, where would be we be without you, in both senses of the words? Your unfailing enthusiasm and practical support in acting as a collection point and helping spread the word is greatly appreciated.
To all those who helped raise the funds to cover the costs of the Day, through the fund-raising event at Spotlight Theatre as well as through other donations, in cash and in kind, in bags, in puddings, in yummy bags of lollies and other goodies, in books and in shoes, thank you. Your support provides the basis for a genuinely community-oriented event.
To the Wrappers, that team of stalwarts, who helped us wrap approximately 500 gifts, and to Anne who provided the sustenance we all needed to keep us going for many hours of measuring and cutting and wrapping and sticking – a huge thankyou to you all.
To our amazing team of helpers, both young and old, who turned what might have been a lonely day for so many people into a joyous occasion, where every guest was made welcome and enjoyed the camaraderie – thank you.
Thank you to Brian and Margaret, who were assisted behind the scenes by their son David, for again serving up a memorable feast.
Some of our helpers have been with us for many years and we’d particularly like to thank Judy, who has provided legal support as well as friendship and guidance over this time. Another special thank you to Dianne who enthusiastically and tirelessly entertains the children each year and this year came from her sick-bed to do so again. We’d love to mention you all for your special roles, but there are just too many and I hope you know that we appreciate you immensely.
My New Year’s resolution is to learn to count and I promise none of the helpers will have to eat next year’s meal from a takeaway container! My apologies to those who were affected… I have no excuse.
We all heard many stories. Two sisters, who hadn’t spoken for three years, had both booked for the event, not wanting to be alone on the day. They sat together and are family again. A young man sang, for the first time in many years… Others appreciated the spirituality of the occasion and reconnected with their faith. There was laughter and a few tears.
Once again, thank you to you all and we wish you well over the festive season, with good health and happiness in 2015.
Jan and Leigh
Youth Exchange Students
A little while ago was the Jacaranda Festival in the beautiful town of Grafton. Both the Rotary Club of Grafton and Grafton Midday hosted our District's Youth Exchange Students for the weekend. The students get to march in the street parade promoting Rotary in the community and also have a great time in Grafton.