Every year Anglicare's Emergency Relief programme provides financial and food assistance to an estimated 20,000 socially excluded families and individuals who struggle to get by on low income.
Now in its 10th year, Anglicare's Toys ‘n’ Tucker programme is a way in which communities can actively provide gifts of toys and food to be distributed to the families who come to the service for support.
Nigel Beckman attends Menai Anglican Church. He and his Growth Group became involved in the Scheme 5 years ago because they wanted to help those less fortunate at Christmas time.
Nigel and his team have also discovered many other benefits from being involved in the scheme. Nigel says, “It has been a wonderful out-reach opportunity and shown the local community that Menai Anglican is a church of action not just words”. The collection area covers Barden Ridge, Menai Road and over to the Woodlands Estate – so our church makes contact with approximately 2,200 homes.
In addition, it provides a great opportunity for absolutely anyone in the church community to get involved and serve God no matter their age, ability or which service they attend.
The scheme also provides Menai Anglican Church with a way to identify and help those in the local area who are themselves struggling.
This year, there were almost 180 people involved in the collection. Between them, they collected over 300 boxes plus miscellaneous toys. The best collection year so far for the church.
There is a lot of work involved in organizing the food drive. Initially fliers are prepared and these are delivered by the congregation. The actual collection takes place from Monday 4th to Monday 11th November. Because of the fliers many people are prepared with food by their door. It is heart warming when people have been shopping specifically for Anglicare and have a box or bag all ready. It also offers a great opportunity to hand over information brochures about Playtime groups at church and the Christmas service times.
One little girl donated her own tricycle because she wanted someone less fortunate than her to have a bike for Christmas.
All the donated items are boxed up at church and then Anglicare collect them and take the boxes to the Anglicare Mt. Druitt warehouse. The items are then made into Christmas hampers and toy parcels for families in Sydney and Wollongong who would otherwise go without.
The Menai Anglican Church / Anglicare Food Drive is a wonderful example of how a small idea from a Growth Group can make a huge difference to the local community and beyond. Thank you to everyone involved in this year’s scheme. Please pray for Nigel and his group – may they be a guiding light to the rest of the church community. Please also pray for the Anglicare teams – may they bring a little joy and support to those in need this Christmastime.