Uniting’s Give Hope Voucher Appeal- a friendship that lasts
“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in” Matthew 25:35
As people were responding to the fire crisis and donor dollars were stretched, the Give Hope Voucher appeal finished its fourth year showing Uniting’s never flagging support for people seeking asylum. In the new year we raised close to $3500, and each voucher is part of a long and patient friendship we extend to those suffering hardships in our community.
The House of Welcome, Jesuit Refugee Service and Asylum Seeker Centre distribute vouchers as part of their wrap around support and were exceedingly grateful for our donations. One staff member exclaimed “lifeline” upon seeing the bundle of vouchers being delivered. The Jesuit Refugee Service said “The people we serve are grateful for even a $20 voucher, it means they can buy some food or a blanket that they need. We have very limited emergency financial assistance we can give, and many individuals and families are needing support. We are so grateful for these vouchers as it means we can continue to assist the people we serve to fill some of their needs.” I was only told today that emergency assistance funds had been exhausted, and they were relying on vouchers from the Give Hope appeal.
The vouchers will go to our friends who might be like Zara, a single mother with five young children. She is not able to work due to her young child and is ineligible for any Government support. Her four other children love going to school, however due to the family’s financial situation it is a time of great stress for Zara as she is unable to afford the basic school supplies. We received a great variety of department store vouchers, and people like Zara can purchase new shoes, socks and school supplies for the children to allow them to focus on their studies and not worry about being left out.
The Uniting Advocacy team would like to thank everyone who supported the Give Hope voucher appeal. It has provided another opportunity to extend compassion, and act as witness to the presence and dignity of people seeking asylum within out community.
For details on each of the organisations and how to still donate, or for information on other ways to get involved in the Give Hope campaign, go to our website or contact the Give Hope team.
Dee Davidson, Uniting Advocacy Team