In September and October 2021, whilst still in lockdown (5km travel radius) volunteers from the Melbourne Church of Christ were creative in collecting donated items and passing them from volunteer to volunteer so the hygiene packs could reach a central point for packing and delivery to Fiji. Jo Donado, the HOPE rep in Melbourne organised the logistics and managed to pack 18-20 boxes and DHL picked them up for delivery to Fiji! Items included: shampoo, soaps, toothpaste, body lotion, napkins, infant formula, nappies, wipes, baby clothes, breast pads, maternity pads as well as some HOPE T-shirts.
The hygiene and maternity items will be used at the main maternity hospital in Nadi, where women frequently attend to give birth without any of these basic but essential items.
A big thank you to members of the Melbourne Church of Christ for working together to make this happen!
Siteri, HOPE Rep in Fiji describes the needs in Fiji and how providing Maternity 'Hygiene' Packs can make a big difference...
How you can help? Purchase hygiene packs for Fiji (7 items, total cost of a pack is approx $20) and put in a Ziplock bag. Read below for details. Alternatively donate online (multiples of $20 depending on how many packs you want to purchase, add FijiMum in reference). As of October 9th we have 180 packs... hoping to reach 200!
Over a weekend in March, the Melbourne COC campus ministry had the opportunity to volunteer for '300 Blankets, Soul Kitchen' - a community service program held every Sunday evening that is dedicated to providing support for those in the community who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Students gathered at a local community hall, myself and students from our campus ministry plus other 300 blanket volunteers gathered to prepare and serve a nutritious and delicious meal with the guests attending - people who may be struggling to make ends meet or possibly feeling socially isolated.
The evening was fun and relaxed, but at the same time it was a safe and respectful environment. For myself it was a really rewarding experience to hang out, chat and share dinner with these members of the community who are often stigmatised and ignored by so many. There are so many genuine people of all different ages that just love a good chat and a game of Uno.
So many of the guests openly voiced how grateful they are for the program and the incredibly yummy food that’s provided. They shared how the program has created a small and special community it in itself and how it is now something many of them look forward to each week.
Being part of that evening also helped me understand how it’s not only third world countries I need to visit in order to serve as Jesus would, but theres many people from my own home that are in need. I’m convicted to show His love through service closer to home, so much more often than I currently do.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Jess Whylaw, Campus Student
Campus students playing with one of the children after a shared meal at '300 Blankets , Soul Kitchen'
Zumba Gold is a lower-intensity version of the popular dance exercise Zumba designed for middle-aged and older adults.