Sharing the Love to the Less Fortunate0
On a blustery day on the Redcliffe foreshore, I made my way to the CWA hall to have a chat with the volunteers of the Breakfast Club, a not-for-profit Organisation which serves regular meals and provides care packages for those doing it tough.
After speaking on the phone with Ros, who founded the organisation with her husband fifteen years ago, I was excited to meet the amazing people who had helped to keep the Breakfast Club running for such a long time, with minimal Government funding.
As I made my way towards the building, I was cheerfully greeted by three Breakfast Club volunteers, donning their distinctive black t-shirts.
Once inside it became very apparent just how much work goes into setting up these events. The hall was decked out, welcoming and had a cheerful feel for locals to come together to enjoy a delicious, freshly cooked meal.
The group were very organised, everyone knew their role and within a very short timeframe, the hall was setup, the food was cooking and the boxes of food to be collected, were ready to go. Although busy, Michelle made time to speak with me and enlighten me about the vital work that the Breakfast Club does. On the stage were ninety-eight schoolbags, filled with back-to-school essentials, all of which were either donated or purchased with cash donations. Over the Christmas period just gone, the Organisation put together over two hundred hampers, including gifts for children, which went to local families in need. Helen approached me and asked if I’d be interested in having a look at their Outreach Van.
She reminds me as we make our way outside to where the van is parked. The Breakfast Club volunteers visit local parks after dark on Wednesdays and Sundays delivering swags and food packs and even pet food for the animals.The list of services the Organisation provides is extensive. Other than the dinner service provided on Tuesdays and Thursdays, they offer Breakfast on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
On Thursdays they operate the Breakfast Club Hub, a place for visitors to have a shower, a snack and tea or coffee, receive help with completing forms, grab some emergency food supplies, obtain information about meals and other services or simply take advantage of a quiet place to sit. The hope is that the service will be increased to two or three days a week in the near future.
Thanks to funds raised by the Rockin’ 4 the Homeless concert (stay tuned for details on the upcoming 2018 concert) they have also been able to provide air-conditioning at this location.
A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to make all of these services possible. The Breakfast Club receives welcome donations from Oz Harvest, Woolworths, St. Vinnie’s, some local businesses and the general public.
Many businesses and organisations offer their time to this wonderful group including Orange Sky who provide a mobile laundry and shower, 1000 Haircuts and Clothes that Care are also affiliated. Sesame Lane pay rent costs for the CWA hall, One Agency Redcliffe and the organisers of Rockin’ 4 the Homeless should also be acknowledged for their continued support.
Local highschools Grace Lutheran, The Lakes College, St Benedict’s College and Mt Maria College also perform volunteer work. There are however, never enough volunteers.