Enough to clothe and feed an Army at Sydney Homeless Connect
On Tuesday 21st July 2015 Homeless Connect – an organization run by a team of over 200 willing volunteers – arranged a day of servicing the homeless people of New South Wales. The Sydney Town Hall was offered by the Sydney City Council for this event and was a very suitable venue. Invitations were advertised and distributed to all local council areas around NSW to let any homeless or needy person know that they were welcome to participate in this day.
The event displayed the philanthropic spirit of Sydneysiders who donated not only their time so generously but also clothing, blankets, swags and sleeping bags. Services were provided free of charge including dentistry and medical care, haircuts, veterinary and pet care and assistance with accommodation and employment by the Homeless Connect team. These people did an amazing job and selflessly devoted their day to serve others.
For members of the Rapid Relief Team (RRT), who also assisted at the event, the day started at 5:00am with the collecting of 1000 fresh bread rolls and 150 loaves of bread from bakeries. The bread along with 165 Kilograms of bacon, 3000 eggs, and 800 hamburger patties were loaded into refrigerated trailers, along with 8 commercial BBQs and all the ancillary cooking equipment to make it happen. By 7am the BBQs were set up and the initial batches of the bacon and egg rolls sizzling.
At first a steady flow of hungry mouths were filled and this soon increased to the hundreds. All hands were on deck to keep up – 2 Rapid Relief Teams were in action – a crew of 44 people in total. One team was located on the northern plaza area of Town Hall and the other team on the southern side of Town Hall near St Andrews Cathedral.
Over 4000 people were fed on the day, with many so appreciative that they came back numerous times. When the Homeless Connect volunteers could break from their duties of which ranged in anything from haircuts to dentistry, the RRT was glad to feed them as well. By 2:30pm everyone had had their fill and supplies were running down. A number of leftover loaves of bread were distributed to the crowds leaving the venue, who would gladly use it over the coming days.
This event was a great opportunity to help numerous persons who are often forgotten by society at large. It was exhilarating to see how much a small service can mean to a very appreciative receiver.