We have many volunteers helping at Bonnie’s behind the scenes.
Some of them clean and help fix things, others hand out food and spend time with the women and children. The other day I met a woman who was volunteering with us who not so long ago, had received support from Bonnie’s.
Every Friday she comes in early to prepare the boxes to distribute the donated food. She then takes care of everything while OZ Harvest arrives and delivers the food. She will tick off the clients who have picked up their boxes, help them choose meat or milk in the fridge and food such as bread or snacks from the spare food area. After everyone has picked up their boxes, she will clean the space before she leaves. Last week I asked her if she minded that I wrote a story about her. She was excited about being featured!
As a previous client at Bonnie’s, she was very keen to put up her hand when she first heard that volunteers were needed. She initially came to us to be assisted and supported. She became strong enough to leave a toxic relationship and began to live an independent life of her own. She has been through a lot including complicated issues with immigration. Now she is coming back – not to receive assistance but to offer back the kindness and support that she has received.
I was impressed by how much she enjoys herself in this role. She always brings in a beaming smile. Whenever a client comes to pick up their food, she approaches them with open arms and helps them with everything they need.
Since she was with us she has seen many positive changes; she is currently studying childcare at TAFE and hopes to work with children after graduating. She is excited about her new journey, her studies and her volunteering.
I felt so delighted and proud of this woman. It is not only a milestone for her, but also a wonderful thing for Bonnie’s to receive and witness the transition that’s taken place.
And she is honoured to be able to give back to the community.
Written by Shunan Xie