Ten years of emergency relief in the Hawkesbury

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10yrs
2004 was the start of an outreach program for Windsor District Baptist Church, reaching out into the local community with assistance to people in need and/or financial crisis.
Assistance has been given in the form of vouchers for a variety of essential products and services, such as Electricity and Gas bills, Telephone and Water bills, Food and Fuel vouchers, Chemist and some Medical assistance. There is also the Bargain Barn, which is another ministry of the church. Vouchers are also issued for use in the barn for pre-loved clothing, household goods and some furniture items.
To see the relief on the faces of people who are really struggling to put food on the table or to keep the power on, is something to behold.
About two years ago, a father and his two boys moved into the Hawkesbury area from out west after their mother had been murdered. They had no funds to support themselves. A relative whom they were staying with was after assistance to help them. One area that was brought to our attention was that the boys had gone to school with no lunch for the past week. After ringing the school and speaking with the headmaster, we arranged for playlunch and lunch to be provided to the boys by the canteen for the next two weeks and emergency relief would reimburse the school. The headmaster was amazed that someone from the community would offer to do such a thing.
A lady who regularly used our service had a husband on a disability pension. She also had two working sons living at home who refused to contribute to any household expenses. (Keeping in mind that we never tell people what they should or must do, and that we can only suggest), we were able to guide her with a few suggestions and thoughts. Today, both young men are contributing to the household expenses, the mother is enjoying her release from financial burdens and, after informing us of this, she has not returned seeking assistance at all.
Many referrals have also been arranged for people who seek assistance, and during the initial interview we may realise that there is an underlying problem, (be it drugs or alcohol, mental health, financial, legal or family relational). If these are matters that we are not equipped to manage, we will refer to a network of agencies that we have built up over the past ten years.
There have been many other cases where we have been able to assist people to free themselves from the reliance of assistance for day to day living. That said, as we continue to meet with the needy in our community, we praise and thank our God for the Government partnering with us as an agency in the Hawkesbury, giving help to those less fortunate than ourselves.
For information of the lastest No Ineterest Loan Scheme program running through Windsor District Baptist Church – Click Here.

by Allen Bouveng
Windsor District Baptist Church

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