ON 29 July, Crossway LifeCare delivered its 1000th grocery hamper since Victoria’s first lockdown. Prior to Covid-19, this modest community services organisation provided about eight food parcels a week. The relatively small organisation was able to respond so quickly because hundreds of people from Crossway Baptist Church donated food and groceries and they just keep on giving.
“The number of people in Melbourne’s East who need help to buy food and groceries has increased exponentially”, LifeCare’s Director, Fiona Hall, said. “Our vision drives all our services. We believe God cares deeply for every individual and our mission is to help people flourish emotionally, socially, economically, and spiritually”.
Crossway LifeCare is the faith-based not-for-profit managed by Crossway Baptist Church in Burwood East and its vision is to see people in tough places flourish. Against the dark backdrop of coronavirus, LifeCare is playing an important role. Community Pantry Partners donated tons of food and groceries. Businesses such as Aldi at Burwood One, Acre Farm & Eatery at Burwood Brickworks and Brumby’s Bakery in Ashburton as well as Oz Harvest and Melbourne Farmers’ Markets donated generously. To distribute the hampers, LifeCare works with the Box Hill Police, Whitehorse Churches Care, Victoria’s Department of Education and Training, Gladys Liu MP, Federal Member for Chisholm, and Neil Angus MP, Member for Forest Hill. Hundreds of people also contact the organisation directly.
Crossway LifeCare loves to collaborate with others and several significant partnerships have formed in this challenging season, including a strategic response to homelessness in the Eastern suburbs. One Voice – which provides Mobile Shower Services for people experiencing homelessness – asked LifeCare to manage a local shower truck. As of July more than 300 rough sleepers had used the truck to take a shower, and LifeCare has given each person free items such as teeth hygiene products and shavers. One of Crossway Lifecare’s caring congregation also donated the many scarves she’d knitted for the One Voice Shower Truck project to be given to homeless people.
Many people feel anxious and stressed and struggle to cope with isolation. In recent times, LifeCare’s counselling team has spoken to over 300 people to help them find hope and a way forward. “Feelings of anxiety at the moment are normal”, said LifeCare’s Head Counsellor, Anne Elliot, “thankfully, there are some things we can do about it. Firstly, we need to be honest about how we’re feeling. Talking with someone you trust can help. Be grateful for the good and positive aspects of your life; get good sleep and stay hydrated. And seek support when you need it”.
Finally, Fiona said, “In this unprecedented season, I want to say that you are known, you are loved, and your life matters”. If you need help, contact Crossway LifeCare on 9886 3899 or go to crosswaylifecare.org.au