Tuesday, May 14, 2019
If you build it, they will come
Because you’re worth it
Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity
Ad campaigns, movie lines and mottos, either way these are phrases that have made it into our everyday lexicon; this year I’d like to add one more: “Food, Shelter, Dignity”
That’s our mission statement here at BWNS (Bendigo Winter Night Shelter). It’s not long but it captures precisely what our goals are. A warm meal, a safe & warm bed and to be treated with dignity & respect.
From the time of registrations opening on the 23rd of March to their closing late on the 1st of May over 200 people from Bendigo and surrounds (even 1 ring-in from South Melbourne!) volunteered to take part in delivering this program for those less fortunate. And that is not including the hundreds of people donating goods & services and the thousands that have been praying for us over the last 6 months. We could not have made it to this point without each and every one of you.
Where exactly is this point, you ask? Well, since registrations closed our Volunteer Coordinator and her diligent team have been dialling phone numbers performing interviews and reference checks on all of our volunteers. Our Project Coordinator has been delivering training sessions, (more info on those can be found here); and our Equipment Coordinator has been purchasing bedding and fitting out our trailer ready for June 1. Our Deputy Project Coordinators have been taking care of all the paperwork, madly developing and ratifying policies and procedures and our Prayer Coordinator has been keeping our partner churches up to date with prayer requests and performing a lot of admin for me.
While the countdown clock still ticks down ominously in the corner, our team knows that all things are possible with God. Our faith is with him and through him we can deliver this valuable service in time for winter.
While donations are very welcome, tangible gifts are something that is accepted warmly. We have been inundated with toiletry products and we now ask our generous friends in the community to change your focus. Gift cards for Coles and Woolworths would be greatly appreciated so that we can feed our guests for all 92 nights of winter. A $10 giftcard can make a huge difference to someone attempting to feed 10-16 people.
Thank you to everyone who has been delivering products to MadCow over the past couple of weeks.
Don't forget that this Sunday is our commissioning service. Let us know you're coming. You'll have the opportunity to meet our committee, venue coordinators and a large number of our volunteers and support partners. It's a chance for us to praise God for His blessings and our ability to share them with others. We will also be asking for His blessing as we show hospitality and love this winter. There will be a retiring offering if you wish to donate towards the ongoing costs of the program. There is no obligation to give.
Finally, I know many people are hanging out for an update as to when registrations will reopen for volunteers; while I can’t give you a definite date we are all working madly towards reopening on the 22nd. Please stay tuned for further details, and feel free to pop any questions in the comments section. We’ll do our best to stay on top of them.