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Wednesday July 31st 6:00pm


We have now made it 61 days into the program with only 31 nights remaining in Winter. As I am sure the rest of the committee can attest it’s been a long road to this point, with many hours of prayer and sleepless nights working through the minutiae of running such an extensive project.


I’m sorry it’s been such a long time between updates, the details have kept us pretty well bogged down but you deserve some news. It’s been an exciting 2 months, we’ve had ups and downs, sleep and chaos, dinner and dessert. Hearing about what our guests have been eating each night has had me very tempted to roster myself into some evening shifts. Massive thank you to all those who have provided meals and treats to our volunteers and guests. Your efforts in the kitchen have been appreciated beyond measure, with some of our guests finding it necessary to move out a belt loop or two.


It’s been an exciting few days in the shelter with us hitting max occupancy, having a visit from MP Rod Barton and hosting an exploratory group from Newcastle hoping to start their own shelter next winter! Bendigo is the first regional location to host something like this and we’ve had our unique challenges but thus far thanks to our volunteers, prayers and a great group of guests we’re finding it a successful venture.


Now that we have passed the half way point it’s time to start looking at the wrap-up and the direction for next year. It is the moment when life on the committee gets a little less interesting as we analyse statistics and put together a report, when we draft proposals and strategies, and we schedule a week of hibernation in September. I’m really looking forward to sharing with you the facts and figures of what Bendigo as a community has accomplished and hear your feedback as to how we can improve for next year.


While our scope was limited our impact hasn’t been. We have hosted 29 individual, seen one of our favourites move into a permanent residence and provided 336 hot meals. And we’re not done yet!


Mim xx

Saturday June 22nd 4:00am


Hi everyone, it's your friendly volunteer coordinator here. It's the dead of night and all through the house not a creature was stirring not even a mouse...

It's no Christmas story and if we're perfectly honest there is a lot of stirring happening. There are 3 keen volunteers sitting up right now watching over our guests, ensuring they are safe and warm on this cold, cold night. The weather report tells us it's 2.1C however it feels like -1.2C; 6 happy campers are free from that bitter cold this evening and it's all thanks to you guys!


We can't thank you enough for the time and efforts you are all putting in, some of you cooking, some of you showing up bleary-eyed before the sun has had a chance to peek over the horizon but all of you are putting your hearts into this program.


It wouldn't be a post from Mim however without a request...if there is anyone out there who is available for the early bird shift (6-8:30am) on any day of the week please email me directly at volunteers@bendigowinternightshelter.com with the specifics. Of the 262 volunteers registered I have only 48 on my list to help out in the mornings, many of them already performing another role on a different day. If you didn't return a calendar to BWNS please let me know if you can fill a morning shift.


Thanks once again to the 208 unique volunteers who have helped fill the 400 shifts already rostered this season and for those of you waiting on your first shift - don't worry, it's coming!


Please forgive any grammatical errors, and my apologies for the somewhat rambling (but hopefully still coherent) nature of this morning's post.


God bless,

Mim.

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45 minutes ago our meeting point doors officially opened kicking off a project that none can doubt has God's guidance and blessing bringing us to this day.  


Our first week is going to be the hardest to fill as we have volunteers who haven't yet completed the training.  So the call is out, we desperately need people who are willing to work in all of the shifts on Thursday night.  Please check your own calendars and pass this request on to those you know who have completed the training.  


Please lift Y and R in your prayers as they get the job of being the first venue coordinators.  And also our guests; pray for the three guests we have tonight, and the prospective guests we have interviewing over the coming days.  Pray for 'D' who is stranded in Echuca for the weekend, for 'R' who is in hospital, praise God that crisis accommodation was found for 'J' & 'JD' over this weekend and that we have the resources to help them when that is no longer available.  


And pray for those who have been referred to us but have been unable to connect, for those who are sleeping outside tonight because we don't have the appropriate resources to support them, for those sleeping rough with nowhere to turn.  And pray that we will have the volunteers we need to run the program on Thursday night. 


Through God all things are possible, praise be to the King of Kings for his grace and mercies.  

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