19 May, 2020
“I was really struggling to scrape money together for even the basics, including food.”
This is what Jodie, who was at crisis point, says. A reduced disability pension and inability to work made her incredibly vulnerable.
“A friend told me about a place that would help me out with food,” she remembers. “So, he brought me down to the ADRA Food Pantry at the Ferntree Gully Adventist Church.”
Here, Jodie received not just the food she needed, but also the support and friendship she desperately missed.
“The first time I came in I was in tears with thankfulness, just with the help and how lovely people were. I just wanted to be part of it.
“The very next week I started volunteering – that was two years ago,” she says. “It’s amazing to be a part of it.”
Having overcome her own crisis through the support of ADRA and the people she found volunteering there, Jodie is now helping others do the same.
As Australia was forced into isolation, Jodie and the food pantry team quickly adjusted their program so that instead of people coming to them, they’d take the food and friendship to people’s doors.
Before the coronavirus crisis hit, Jodie served the food pantry every Monday, but this year she’s been there four to five days every week.
“I come in, pack boxes and then go out and deliver them,” she says. “We have notes about people’s cats or dogs, or particular needs and we pack specific things for those people. We aim to make it really personal.”
Every week Jodie and the team are packing and delivering boxes for those they have been serving regularly, and have experienced an increase in new calls from people needing help.
But the well organised system and team of committed volunteers like Jodie means there’s always someone ready to help.
“People are so grateful to have deliveries because they don’t have transport or can’t get to the shops,” she says. “A lot of people haven’t been outside their doors for so long, they are just happy to see someone’s face, stand outside and chat for a few minutes.
“A lot of people are wanting to give back for the help they’ve received. Just like I did.”
Like Jodie, you can help others overcome crises. Any gift before 30 June can be matched 10x*. Give now here or call 1800 242 372.
*Every year, the Australian Government makes limited funding available to fully accredited development agencies for targeted overseas programs under the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). As an accredited agency, ADRA applies for government funding and can receive an allocation. An essential requirement for the release of this funding allocation is that we must raise $1 for every $10 earmarked for ADRA until we meet the match. Until recently, the match was $1 for every $5. The opportunity to double what ADRA receives may end soon. Thank you for helping us raise the match by June 30.