Mobilising our Resources during the Pandemic
Regional NSW has been hit hard by the COVID pandemic this past week. While we have been living in a COVID landscape for over 18 months, Regional NSW has managed in most cases to keep it at an “arm’s length” and for most have remained unaffected in terms of COVID cases. That all came to a crashing end just over a week ago, resulting in many within our communities suffering the effects.
Personally, I have over 12 people within my family become COVID positive. Our Indigenous families have been hit hard not only with illness but also with lockdowns unearthing complexities in ways that have never been faced. Locking down and being isolated from family is the most foreign and distant feeling to that of the strong kinship systems that exist within Indigenous families and communities and this lockdown is having devastating effects due to many families being struck with the COVID virus and being unable to care for each other in a way that is normal and natural.
While many are suffering from illness, loneliness, fear and anxiety – we have some that are struggling with the most basic needs including accessing food and basic supplies and staying connected with information and essential resources. Some of our most remote communities have no local store and need to travel to get the basics. Panic buying and shelf shortages, adds to the disadvantage in being able to access essential food and medical supplies. In some households there may be no access to a vehicle, no over the phone or online payment methods, lack of drivers licensing and so many other complexities that we may not ever encounter under normal circumstances.
During conversations with members of our Uniting Church communities this week, I was overwhelmed with the fast-thinking, agile and generous hearts in the responsiveness and willingness to respond to the need. Within a couple of days, we have collaboratively managed to mobilise resources that will see one of our most remote Indigenous communities receive a truckload of fresh fruit and vegetables and other essential items that they have been unable to source. The incredible generosity of the Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo Uniting Church has resulted in funds being given for the hire of a truck, over a tonne of fresh fruit and vegetables purchased, volunteer drivers to deliver and other logistical needs being answered. Talk about mind-blowing!!! Approximately 82 households in one of our most remote communities will be the benefactors and they are so very grateful.
I’m left in awe of the many generous souls within our local Uniting Churches, along with our Uniting staff that are working tirelessly, hand in hand to ensure that our most vulnerable are not left behind in a time of mountainous challenges and uncertainty.
At the beginning of the week, I felt stuck in a dark and dismal place, trying to catch my breath and gather scattered thoughts and emotions. I am now feeling uplifted and revived as I’ve been reminded that I work for Uniting and with our Uniting Church, both places filled with the most incredibly uplifting people who embody an abundance of Compassion, Kindness and Resilience – I am blessed.
Church and Community Engagement Lead.
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