22 September, 2016

James and Carol arrived weary and broken. Unemployed and homeless, they had just been moved out of the local caravan park because they ran out of money. All they had was their car and a few possessions inside.

They were greeted at the ADRA op shop with warm smiles and open hearts. ADRA staff gave them enough food for a week and a tank of fuel. For James and Carol, this was a life-changing. They were very grateful and promised to return the favour when they got back on their feet.

A couple of weeks later, James and Carol returned requesting help again. They had secured some emergency accommodation but had nothing to put in it. This time, they received more than they could have dreamed of: furniture, clothing and kitchenware.

Now, they have started their own business and wish to help others.

And they were so moved by the help they received, James and Carol volunteered to help at the op shop so they can help others in need.

Next month, another group of people will be volunteering their time to help people like James and Carol.

In October, volunteers in every Australian state and territory will be publicly raising funds as part of the annual appeal for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Australia.

Judith is a loyal volunteer and long-time ADRA Appeal door-knocker. Her secret is to have a positive attitude and look at the opportunity to connect with her community.

“The people on the other side of the doors are beautiful people,” she says. “If people say ‘no’ that’s ok. It’s nothing personal. Don’t let that deter you.”

But door-knocking is not the only way to raise funds. Ideas for fundraising as a church include running a trivia night, a car wash or a fundraiser concert. And it’s an opportunity to invite friends and neighbours to church in a relaxed setting.

This year, the ADRA Appeal is seeking to raise $1.1 million to help improve the nutrition, health and wellbeing and livelihood opportunities for more than 30,000 people in Australia and overseas.

“We’re asking people to give freely, love deeply and act mercifully to help people thrive,” ADRA Australia CEO Mark Webster said. “If every church member can raise $50, it will help more than 30,000 people in Australia and overseas.”

The appeal is conducted by unpaid volunteers to ensure fundraising costs are kept to a minimum.

“We’re so grateful for our volunteers who work tirelessly to raise money and awareness for people in poverty and disadvantage in Australia and around the world,” Mr Webster said.

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