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What We Do

Carevan Blacktown meets every Tuesday evening at Lalor Park Community Hall

We are busy setting up and packing hampers from 6:30 and open doors at 7:30 pm.

We serve hot nutritious meals to all those who come along and provide

a variety of other goods provided to Carevan by our generous contributors.

Carevan creates a welcoming venue to share a meal and an evening with others,

fostering a sense of community and providing support for those in need.

Everyone is welcome

https://www.facebook.com/CarevanBlacktown

[email protected]

carevanblacktown.org.au

Lalor Park Library; Cnr. Freeman Street and Northcott Road, Lalor Park

 

 

 

Carevan Blacktown was founded in 2011 and is an affiliate of The Carevan Foundation formed By Dr John Brabant in Albury many years earlier. Members of the Blacktown local area, who were friends of Dr Brabant, saw a need for a similar service in the local area and established Carevan Blacktown.

Carevan Blacktown is a smaller entity and our weekly meal service is the focal point of our efforts, but we are no less dedicated to the objective to serve those less fortunate than ourselves. Like the Foundation, we aim to promote and put into practice the mission “…to create a sense of identity, a sense of belonging and a sense of achievement. … focused on changing “us” and “them” to become “we…”.

Carevan serves those battling hardship and disadvantage of all kind; homelessness, financial hardship, isolation and loneliness principal among these. We strive to provide a meal of substance for the body, while meeting the bigger objective of social inclusion across all demographics and all circumstance.

Each week Carevan provides a meal service in Lalor Park Community hall. Run by a team of dedicated and diligent volunteers, we create a warm, welcoming and non-judgemental setting. The community are able to come together to share a meal and some time, to connect with each other and with a community that cares for them.

Carevan collects and supplies fruit and vegetables from local businesses, donated to supplement the weekly meal service. We provide take away meals to accommodate families and individuals into the week, extras that might otherwise not be affordable or accessible.

Carevan works in collaboration with all our supporters, who donate time, food, money, items of care and support, delivering these goods each week to those most in need.

Our business supporters include The Masonic Club Blacktown, Roseville and Chatswood Rotary Club and the Richmond Rotary Club, Dearest Lips, Genworth Financial, Daily Fresh and of course the Norwest and Tyndale Christian Schools who make and store the meals we serve each week.

We were lucky enough to be recipients of the Commonwealth Bank’s ‘CommBank Staff Foundation Community Grant’ in 2020 and the Federal Office of Greenway’s community grant 2018, which enabled the purchase of a second hand van in early 2019 to replace the old and iconic van, in which the Carevan had begun in Blacktown.

And of course, the backbone of our work is the countless individuals who reach out to Carevan to donate all manner of contributions. Without our amazing community support, we would truly just be a van!

Carevan conducts blanket and clothing appeals, supply hygiene and general home care products and are the conduit for a generous community donating items to those in need, on the community’s behalf.

Carevan are growing year by year and our need for community support does not diminish with this growth. We are in desperate need of a warehouse for example, in which to store the items delivered and donated to us, with which to serve the community with.

We are in constant weekly need of consumables such as plates, takeaway containers, disposable cutlery, serving foil trays, pantry items and long-life milk and custard just to name a few!

We are enormously grateful to all those who support our endeavours and follow our work.  We would love you to follow us on Facebook, share our postings and join with us in making life a little easier for those less fortunate than ourselves.

And we’d especially love to hear from you if you have a storage solution for us  🙂

Kindness

Carevan are blessed with HUMONGOUS community support and generosity, which drives everything we do and enables us to fulfil our mission to assist those among us most in need of care and a helping hand. Carevan may extend the hand, but what we offer comes directly from the homes and businesses of the community in which we operate, an extraodinary community of great kindness.

This support may be through donated pantry items to add to bare shelves, to supplement work and school lunch boxes or to add to the meal table through the week. Or it may simply be the replenishment of body and soul, through a shared donated meal, at a table of friends and community, rather than a meal at home alone. The shared experience lessening the burden and a laugh together, helping to erase the worries, just a little… and in a warm environment filled with the sound of voices.

Whatever is needed, Carevan only has to ask and we are gifted with extraordinary kindness. This year’s Winter blanket appeal resulted in busy hands and hearts getting to work to donate knitted beanies and scarves, warm jumpers and jackets, socks and gloves, blankets and throws, sleeping bags and clothing… We receive items each week throughout winter, to distribute to those who are most in need of this added warmth and comfort and cannot begin to thank you all enough …

Time and again we are struck by the communities genuine care and compassion for the next-door neighbour doing it tough or the unknown members of the community most affected by social disadvantage, financial hardship and loneliness. This is never more evident than in the cold months when the prospect of not having a warm meal, clothing or shelter to retreat to, is hard to imagine enduring and this community works very hard to remedy the gaps in meeting these basic human needs and goes a long way to seeing that where help is possible to deliver, it is.

Community Kindness and Generosity.. the fuel that keeps Carevan’s wheels turning

Thank YOU 

 

 

ZOOM…… Volunteer Training Wednesday 12th August

ZOOM….

Moving right along with the times and in keeping with the COVID restrictions, Carevan Blacktown has (well, actually one of our more techno-savvy committee members has) set up our training sessions via the magic of a ZOOM training presentation.

Using the new technology, to accommodate the COVID restrictions, and some good “old fashioned” experience from our CEO and team members,  Carevan is really pleased to be able to conduct training sessions online via ZOOM, keeping our teams supported by bolstering numbers and encouraging and engaging new members into the Carevan Family

We have received extraordinary interest since we returned to the streets ( in the fabulous community hall) some 4 weeks ago, and this has only increased since advertising a new date for training… truly amazing and so heartwarming to see that the community is looking out for each other in this time of stress, duress and uncertainty.

Carevan is simply a conduit between the most generous of communities ( OURS!)  and its most vulnerable and disadvantaged members, in need of a helping hand … and we simply cannot do without such amazing support.

Our first  ZOOM  training session was a great success and we will continue online into the future, as this forum brings with it many positives and possibilities, not the least of which is to enable the sessions to be run more frequently.

Online meetings, webinars and chats, make most things doable, as we have found with working from home and connecting to family and friends in more lateral and technical ways, during this extraordinary year. More importantly, it has proven to be a successful way to stay connected and continue on with life, together … and it has taught a few old Luddites a thing or two …  silver linings

Our wonderful Facebook team will publish these sessions as they are approaching and everyone and anyone is welcome to join in.. just grab a cuppa,  find a computer and follow the link… and share with those you think may be interested in joining in

Next session;  Wednesday 12th August 2020

ZOOM……….

 

Carevan Blacktown is back in action !

Carevan Blacktown is back in action and we couldn’t be happier

Carevan started back after our COVID hiatus, on July 7th. We are now in warm, dry and spacious quarters, inside the Lalor Park Community Hall.

We are catering as always,  for those in need of a warm meal, fruit and veg and other goodies for the week and most importantly, the renewal of friendships put on hold and connections to the generosity and care of the community

We are adhering to social distancing, checking in on arrival and hand sanitiser galore.

We have had a couple of weeks already of cold and wet winter weather, making us all the more appreciative of our new digs and would like to say huge thanks to Blacktown Council for their support of our return venture.

Everyone is welcome every  Tuesday evenings at the Lalor Park Community Hall from 7:30 pm 

 

VOLUNTEERING WITH CAREVAN BLACKTOWN

INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING WITH CAREVAN BLACKTOWN?   💚

We are reaching out to the community, offering an opportunity to volunteer with a team of people who are passionate about making a difference!

We are planning on holding a training session on zoom for potential new volunteers to learn about Carevan and how YOU can help 😊

Take a look at our Facebook page, send us an email or message… We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to join us or help out in any way

Keeping Warm into Winter

Carevan Blacktown Winter Blanket and Sock Appeal

Warm bodies, Warm Hearts and Warm Toes,

HUGEST thanks to those who have donated already to our Winter Blanket and Sock Appeal. Your kindness and warm generosity are truly appreciated.

We LOVE the blankets, (please don’t spend any more than $25 on a blanket!) warm stuff or just a pair of socks. Preloved blankets are lovely too, but please in good condition… just as you’d be happy to receive yourself

Get in touch on our email or my messenger if you would like to donate something warm and we will arrange drop off details or come to you, to collect from verandahs/ porches and driveways so you can stay warm, safe and at home.

Thank YOU, Thirza, Glaiza, Carol (and daughter) Naomi, Buffy, Jaimee ( and her mum) Jan, Anne and Anne-Marie

 

 

Carevan Blacktown Winter Blanket and Sock Appeal 2020

Carevan Blacktown Winter Blanket and Sock Appeal

     Warm bodies, Warm Hearts and Warm toes,

Lovely to be inside, warm in front of fires, with warm clothing and comfy items to pull on and over us, but tough times for though for those who cannot get warm, who haven’t the extra money for heating bills and most especially for those in our community who haven’t a roof over their heads.

And so it’s time to run our Winter Blanket and Sock Appeal. We’d LOVE a blanket, (please don’t spend any more than $25 on a blanket!) and a pair of socks. Preloved blankets are lovely too, but please in good condition… just as you’d be happy to receive yourself.

Carevan Blacktown are still waiting to be able to restart our meal services, it is isn’t far, but it isn’t yet so, in the meantime, our great friends at Blanket Patrol Western Sydney will distribute blankets and donations during their rounds of the local parks and places where those in need of this your fluffy and warming kindness can receive it.

Let us know if you would like to donate something warm and we will come to you, to collect from verandahs/ porches and driveways so you can stay warm, safe, and at home.

If you’d love to donate but are keen to stay away from the shopping centres, you can donate to Carevan Blacktown and we’ll grab something on your behalf, just get in touch with us (here on Facebook/ messenger on our email/website as below) and we’ll help you to help us keep someone warm this winter season. (please don’t donate via Paypal.. we’re not connected … but you can donate via our website if you’re keen on this option)

Thank you, generous souls one and all … from the bottom our hearts to our warm toes

 

While we are waiting

Carevan, like the world, is on pause in this challenging year, but there are still some little wheels turning and we have found some new friends and support along the way.

We would like to send out a HUGE warm Virtual HUG 💚 of thanks to the Plate-it-Forward crew at Columbo Social Enmore, who have been making meals for Carevan, and many other programs like us, to help care for those at disadvantage and to keep fridges stocked with meals while we all wait…

AND to 🌟 Harvey Norman Blacktown🌟 who have generously donated a chest Freezer to Carevan to help us stock these wonderful gifts of care until we’re able to hand them out in turn 🌟

Thank you also to the kind souls, who have reached out to Carevan over the past weeks, to offer help during this tough time. Your generosity and kindness, especially in the face of your 💚 own challenges, is the fuel that keeps us going in good times and the less than good…

The following quote is taken from the Plate-it-Forward website, so you’ll see why we love them ❣️

“Food is designed to bring people together, to share stories, to check in on one another, and to celebrate being the social creatures we are.”

Meanwhile, stay well and looking forward to meeting up again as soon as we’re able to share a story and check-in… 🎉

And THANKS Plate-it-Forward and Harvey Norman Blacktown 💚🚐💚

https://colombosocial.com.au/plateitforward

Coronavirus Message

         To all our friends and supporters

Carevan Blacktown regret to advise we
have now suspended our Tuesday
evening meal services until further notice,
in accordance with current Coronavirus directives and restrictions

Please reach out to us via Facebook, this webpage,
or via our email address and if we are able, we will
endeavour to assist you with a hamper if you are in need of food.

We will be back as soon as restrictions are lifted.
Follow us on Facebook to watch for our return.
Stay home, stay well and take care of each other.

            

The Opposite of Poverty isn’t Wealth in Monetary Terms

Posting from the Wayside Chapel, Such good work and wise words

 

Dear Inner Circle,So often we sell poverty short when we think it’s simply about a lack of cash. It is so much more than that, it can be a sense of despair, a lack of opportunity, a deep hole of hopelessness or the inability to see any future beyond immediate crisis. The opposite of poverty also isn’t wealth in monetary terms. It’s a connection to a healthy community that can embrace you through all the challenges and seasons of life. I often brag, everywhere I can, about Wayside’s ability to sit with people in a way that embodies an often repeated motto around here, “I would rather be lost with you than saved without you”. Every day, even through the challenges, there are hundreds of little acts of kindness going on throughout our building. Yesterday a young man was tending to an elder who is completely blind, and amidst the hundreds of other demands on him at that moment, he took the time to usher him gently into the shower, asking him the whole way “Are you ok Uncle?” He had tasks far more urgent, but I doubt that any were more important that day.

I once heard a wise woman who credits Wayside with helping her turn her life around say that “people may not remember your name, but they will never forget your kindness”. When existence is hanging on by a thread, acts of kindness can add another thread one by one, that when woven together can provide a strong invitation back to life. This will never be an act of management or ‘fixing’; it’s when someone at Wayside sees a spark in a person’s face that is still beautiful, and in that exchange, someone remembers who they really are. Sometimes, just sometimes, we witness a moment of turning, that spark of life, when hope emerges. Faith in humanity is about holding tenderly the belief that the good of all the human race means the good of every human being.

A few years ago I saw desperation of a different kind in the eyes of a man I had never seen before. He asked for some assistance and I gave him what I could. After he left I realised that I had never seen him before, and assumed I’d never hear from him again. Well, I got an email last week saying “You won’t remember this, but after I was injured at work we quickly ran out of money while we fought for compensation. That day you met me, I was desperate. The money you gave us helped us buy groceries instead of defaulting on our rent, that saved us from being evicted, the next week I received my payout. I want to thank you”.Now, it’s my turn to thank you for your generous response for Valentine’s Day. We hit our target and that means we will remain well-stocked with fresh supplies of undies that will help us say “I love you!” all year long!

Thank you for kindness, our Inner Circle.

Jon

Jon Owen
Pastor & CEO
Wayside Chapel