Hello, my name is Ed McGettigan and I would like to speak to you about the St Brigid’s Care Group Annual Appeal.
Last year our appeal raised $730 – thank you for your generosity. But beyond that we have also benefited from additional donations worth at least as much as this again, from personal donations, both one-off and regular donations via bank standing order, from fund-raising activities at St Brigid’s Primary School, not to mention those from local community groups, such as HICCI, and local businesses – our thanks go out also to all those.
I have come to realise that the agents of the Care Group’s work are spread well beyond the Care Group committee. There are dozens of individuals throughout our community who contribute in some way or another to our activities. This might take the form of providing lifts to and from Mass to those who do not have ready access to transport or it might be driving them to a hospital appointment. Many of these activities are not documented, so even if I wanted to, I couldn’t thank all these people. But to all of those contributors, known and unknown, on behalf of the community – THANK YOU.
From amongst the many and various services provided by the Care Group, the principal ones are:
- Spiritual Support for the sick and the dying – in the form of individual and communal prayer
- Home Visitations – for those who are sick or are unable to get out of their home to participate in parish activities
- Preparation and home delivery of meals – to those in the community who are sick or have fallen on hard times. This amounts to over 100 3-course meals per month, not to mention a special Christmas meal which was delivered to 50 homes. At this point, I’d like to acknowledge the wonderful contribution to this effort from a group of Mum’s of St Brigid’s Primary School, who have donated as many as 15 meals per week over the last year.
- Bread Runs – 3 times a week we collect unsold bread from the local bakery and supermarket and deliver it to a total of greater than 60 homes.
- The Angel’s Purse Emergency Fund – this provides discretionary financial support for those in difficulty.
- Christmas Hampers & Gift Parcels – in 2018, we prepared and delivered more than 70 Christmas Hampers & Gift Parcels to homes in need, and also delivered Christmas gifts to our many friends in Aurrum Aged Care and Holmwood Aged Care.
- Anointing Masses – we coordinate these with the assistance of the students from St Brigid’s Primary School
- Care Cards – to past parishioners, Thank-you and Thinking-of-you cards
- Funeral assistance and funeral catering
So, why am I here today? BECAUSE WE NEED YOUR HELP. Apart from myself, the Care Group is a small band of dedicated women, most of whom have been have doing this for decades. They will forgive me if I tell you that they are past the first flush of youth! Consequently, we need new, younger volunteers to shoulder the load with these Wonder Women!
Specifically, we need help with the delivery of unsold bread. A commitment of as little as 11/2 hours once a fortnight or every 4 weeks would be great. Or perhaps you might like to help with the preparation or delivery of the meals? Maybe you could assist with the assembly or distribution of the Christmas hampers? We know time is a very precious commodity in our busy lives, so if you don’t have time to give, perhaps you would consider making a monetary donation to our appeal. Over the next few weeks we will also be selling raffle tickets for the Care Group appeal – another opportunity to contribute, and perhaps win a prize or too!
In closing, I would summarise the work of the Care Group as follows:
- C is for Community – the primary function of the Care Group is to support the community
- A is for Advocacy – we represent our parishioners’ interests
- R is for Respect – respect for people’s wishes.
- E is for Embrace –the warm embrace we offer to those most in need.
We hope that you will continue to contribute generously to support and enable the Care Group’s activities within the Healesville community.
If you wish to donate please do so at Mass or contact the parish office.