When it comes to why people volunteer at CatholicCare’s Community Kitchens, the answer is simple. It’s to help those in need.
It might be someone experiencing homelessness or a community member who just needs an extra helping hand to make it through the week.
The people they assist come from all walks of life – everyone who walks through the door is welcome to a meal, no questions asked.
For volunteer Julie-Anne O’Donohue, it’s the above statement that makes her so passionate about helping the kitchens.
“Food is such an essential part of life, and it’s great that we can provide people who are struggling with a meal and the chance to sit down with others,” she said.
“They don’t have to think about life. They can just come in and eat, relax and talk to people. Maybe, in some circumstances, we can offer or connect them to other areas of support and local services.
“Particularly now with prices going up, people are going without or going through different situations like not having a house or a job, it’s so important they have a friendly, supportive place to turn to for help.”
Julie-Anne has been volunteering with CatholicCare Hunter-Manning for about 18 months. The highlight has been becoming part of a special community and making connections with the people who work at or access the kitchens.
She encourages anyone interested to get involved.
“Volunteering gives you an opportunity to meet new people who for whatever reason are having a difficult time, and in a small way, you can be respectful and give them something positive and hopeful,” she said.
If you can’t volunteer, there are other ways you can support CatholicCare.
By donating to their 2022 Make a Difference Appeal, you can help serve more meals to individuals and families, ensuring no one is turned away and everyone is met with a hot meal and a smile.
For more information on how to become a volunteer, visit CatholicCare's website.