Home' Rotary Down Under : February 2018 Contents COVER STORY
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The Rotary Club of Whangerei City, NZ, became
involved with helping homeless women after
representatives from the two women’s refuges
in Whangarei, Te Puna O Te Aroha and Tryphina
House, visited as guest speakers. When asked
how they could assist, the answer was through
supplying basic home items to equip their safe
houses, which were practically empty.
The club began collecting household effects
from people who no longer needed them. The
local public’s response from a newspaper article
calling for help was overwhelming. Members
received over 70 calls from people cleaning out,
downsizing, leaving the area or just wanting to
help in the first 10 days. Many items, such as linen,
were donated freshly laundered and gift wrapped
with soap and toiletries. In the first 18 months
of this project, it is estimated 25 safe houses
The club became involved with another project
similarly assisting the displaced and disadvantaged.
Magic Moments gifts food boxes valued at around
$100 to those who are unable to feed their
families as they would like to. A number of these
are women and children living in refuge premises,
without a home of their own.
The Rotarians work alongside a regular group
of helpers to pack and deliver the boxes, including
International Youth Exchange students, sponsors
and members of the public.
Around 80 families have received assistance so
far, typically flying under the radar for support
by other social service groups. The club ensures
recipient lists are cross checked with the Salvation
Army to prevent double-ups.
In 2017, Rotary Club of Whangarei City initiated
its first Magic Banquet, an annual fundraiser for
Magic Moments. The inaugural event was well
received, resulting in a modest profit and raising
the club and project’s profile in the community.
Dave Tanare, of the Rotary Club of East Gosford, NSW,
has been actively involved in caring for local homeless and
disadvantaged people in the Gosford region since 2007.
With the help of his club, which took on his personal
mission as a major community project, Dave provides
essential, everyday living items and words of hope and
encouragement to those in need.
“One evening a week, I visit a local outreach centre,
where volunteers from churches and community
organisations provide a free meal,” Dave said. “After
it closes, I drive around looking for anyone who, for
whatever reason, did not visit for the night. Generally, I
find the odd homeless person near the local oval, in parks,
behind shops and under bridges.
Dave provides all manner of items, including ponchos,
sports bags, blankets, sleeping swags, radios and other
items of comfort.
“Sometimes a listening ear is the best offer,” Dave
said. “Many just need someone to accept them and talk
without judgement. They all have their own unique story.
“There is no short-term answer to the complex issues
that result in homelessness and disadvantage. I am
hopeful, however, that my efforts make some difference,
however large or small, to some of our country’s
ON A MISSION
Lynne Wiffen connected with the
Rotary Club of Frankston Peninsula
2.0, Vic, through the Homeless
Breakfast Program in Frankston, where
members run regular shifts helping to
serve 10,000 meals a year.
“One day my friend Trudy Poole, a
Rotarian I met at the brekkie club, was
driving me home and asked if I would
help planting trees for Rotary,” Lynne
said. “I said yes, and it was the best
thing I ever did. I met some wonderful
people who are now my friends. I never
knew about Rotary before then.”
Soon Lynne was one of the regular
breakfast volunteers, stepping in
when people could not do their
shifts and organising the purchase
of supplies with other committee
members. Today, she also helps with
Bunnings barbeques for the chaplaincy
committee at the local High School
and shakes tins for the Salvos annually.
“The experience, confidence,
kindness, support and friendship I
have received from Rotarians has
made my life worth living again. I am
now doing things I never dreamt of
before I became involved with Rotary,”
“Lynne is a truly amazing lady and our
club is so proud to have played a part in
transforming her life,” Trudy said.
CHANGING LIVES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE KITCHEN
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