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Carevan Blacktown; Winter Wonderful 2022

We are the very humble recipients this week of blankets and warm clothing gathered over the past few months, by the Kids Early Learning group. The child care centres which operate under this banner, and the families they care for, have donated two van loads of warmth and love and we are honoured by their having chosen Carevan for this enormous generosity. It is especially precious when it is coming from a place of learning and teaching our children by example, about community care and looking out for each other, sharing resources, and seeing that no one is left behind or wanting.
Another kind gentleman who donated funds and household goods last week, sent a message in which he told us that he was trying to instil in his own children this same sense of care for the community and most particularly, those in need. In the text message received, he wrote this lovely saying “when you have more than you need, build a bigger table, not a higher fence” which is our very objective at Carevan, as we pass on the kindness we are shown by so many.
We have received this week, and over the past few weeks in fact, so many individual donations of food, clothing, blankets and household items. Hand-knitted warmth, newly purchased and preloved goods, a financial donation to purchase blankets for our 2022 winter season and so much more… there simply arent enough ways to say thank you, but we do and are incredibly grateful for every little bit of it… right down to acknowledging the kind store manager who used her own personal discount card to maximise the donated funds used to purchase blankets today… a little anonymous gesture of kindness that warms the heart and bodies of one or two more lucky recipients.
Enormous gratitude and thanks to ALL our generous donors, to the AMAZING Kids Early Learning centres and their families (& most especially Nicole and Pushpa for the inspiration and coordinating this wonderous feat)
Thanks to the fabulous Dom at Bunnings for your gentle, generous spirit in assisting with the recent BBQ’s bottom line, but just as importantly the little bags of blankets, socks, clothing and food that are so lovingly put together by yourself in your own individual work and contribution.
Big warm hugs to our own Carevan team who have collected, sorted, folded, and organised this treasure trove over this very wet and cold winter, as though Mother Nature needed to make a point of how very necessary and timely this work and care is.
All this tangible love extends our ‘Carevan communal table’ from the hall’s stage to the kitchen cooking team’s bounty and out the open doors, winding its way through homes and to families and folks in need, bringing comfort and care to so many.
Thanks to all, as with every week, every call, every dish, every thought, every article of warmth and care counts and adds a warm seat and a plate at our table.
Thank YOU

Carevan Blacktown; Winter’s warmth

It’s cold ? outside, the heating is turned up, the blankets are out and ugg boots are on …
It’s hard to believe that just two years ago we were out in the car park serving up meals … a cold, windy memory now and so very glad to be in the generous warmth of the community hall, in the shelter this offers and under the radiator heat!
We usually run a blanket appeal at this time of year, but such is the generosity of our supporters that this has been taken care of for 2022 and we’ve barely had to get out the knitting needles …
The Kids Early Learning Child Care community has been busy running a Winter Appeal over the past month or so, amongst their amazing community and on behalf of Carevan, and we are excited to bring this generous donation to the Carevan stage in the next few weeks, as part of the winter’s warmth appeal… and across town our supporter Sunil and his colleagues have raised money and donated blankets to the winter’s cause…
And of course, all our community’s many warm-hearted individuals donating warm clothing, bedding and busy knitting lots of beeeeeutiful pom pom adorned beanies, scarves and throws.. all of which help to warm hearth and home and enable Carevan to deliver some much-needed support at this chilly time of the year.
If you’d like to contribute a blanket or some warm items this winter, to help keep our Carevan family warm and well, please get in touch. As with our previous winter appeals, we ask only for a single new blanket (around $25) or perhaps a preloved blanket … (in good condition please … the cold blows in through holes). Keeping warm is an expensive business and we are grateful for all kind and cosy contributions.
Speaking of community support, our friends at the Blacktown Workers Club will be hosting a CEO sleep-out this Thursday night 23rd. If you’re interested in supporting this event which will, in turn, support The Blacktown Women’s and Girls Health centre (and assist their work with women and children facing homelessness) please follow the link. We are all supporting a common goal at the end of the (cold) night and applaud the team for getting out to face a night in the cold chill, as so many less fortunate do, without an option or warm home to return to.
Get in touch via messenger or

Carevan Blacktown; Kindness in a Box

Carevan is the recipient of care and support from many different areas of our community, always. We are, as often said, simply the conduit between a kind community and those in need of its care. This support comes in person or from simply being part of a generous social network.

As mentioned in previous postings, we’ve been the very grateful recipient of boxes of fruit and veg from the local Box Divvys over the years, and thought we’d shine a little light on this super initiative and the aptly named “Kindness Box” which Box Divvy Hubsters and their members donate to the community and to the Carevan family.

Box Divvy’s mission began with a couple of farmers in 2019 on the mid north coast who, working with Western Sydney Diabetes Alliance and NSW Health, sought to “provide quality food, pay farmers fairly and make fresh food available at extraordinary prices.”

By connecting families to local producers, backyard growers, wholesalers from nearby and some from farther afield, Box Divvy facilitates ‘hyper-efficient’ access to nutritious seasonal fruit and veg, making healthy eating affordable and accessible, creating and supporting community connections using environmental and sustainable change to benefit all.

Carevan are not directly involved in the Box Divvy program as such, but have become the fortunate recipients of its community focus and broader care, through a lovely by-product called the ‘Kindness Box.’

The local Hubsters, Zoe at Lalor Park and Raquel at Quakers Hill and their community, generously donate towards the ‘Kindness Boxes’,  fruit and veg, eggs and other nuggets of fresh goodness which the Carevan Kitchen team to use in cooking up meals, while Bella Vista’s Hubster Flavia, and her network deliver (via our own lovely Carevan volunteer, Sue) a ‘Kindness Box’ direct to a Carevan family household in need of this nutritious bounty.

A ‘Kindness Box’ is filled with produce not required or excess, but never wasted, or simply donated intentionally by generous community members, for the express purpose of offering this onwards to the community beyond the program’s members, in a lovely anonymous gesture of contribution for others’ wellbeing.

Box Divvy is a wonderful initiative, the boxes are bursting with colourful goodness and nutrition and speak to its mission of promoting wellbeing in others and self, sustainable care for community and more broadly the planet, and we are hugely grateful to be chosen for these boxes chock full of the Kindness they are named for.

If you’d like to explore this program further for your own family, links are below or just take a look at the vibrant pics of these mini treasure chests.

Meanwhile THANK YOU Box Divvy and all your members for your generosity and support of Carevan’s communal table.

Zoe – Lalor Park

Raquel – Quakers Hill

Flavia – Bella Vista

Carevan Blacktown meets Year 6

As part of their Primary school curriculum focus on poverty and world hunger and more particularly poverty closer to home; the Tyndale Christian School, who are one of our long-term affiliates, conducted a pantry food drive over the past few weeks, gathering together many, many, many boxes of donated love and goodness …. ?  Such a fabulous bounty of tinned food, pasta, rice, cereal, biscuits and so much kindness from our young friends in year 6.
Poverty is a complex and multifactorial issue affecting millions around the world, including of course, here in Australia. According to the Foodbank Hunger Report 2021; 1 in 8 Australians live below the poverty line and 1 in 6 are children below the age of 14, this issue is present in our own communities and on our doorstep. “Nobody deserves it. Nobody wants it or asks for it.”
Many of those living on or below the poverty line, have an income (64% of people experiencing food insecurity have jobs) but are struggling to meet the necessities of life & frequently food is sacrificed to keep the electricity on, pay for a school excursion for example or to cope with unforeseen circumstances, such as recent weather events.
Accessing or finding support can be difficult and asking for help may be a very brave step and can often be attached to social stigma and labelling, so the opportunity to attend an evening such as Carevan’s, opens up the doors (literally) to a warm meal, company with others and the chance to take away some pantry filling goodies and staples for the week, without any question or judgement.
Last week, Carevan’s CEO Andrew had the privilege of being invited to the Tyndale Primary school to talk to the kids and teachers about how we serve people experiencing poverty within our shared community and how we simply cannot do this without the generosity of groups like the schools, businesses and individuals who support Carevan in so many ways, to achieve this TOGETHER.
The kids were engaged and interested and asked fantastic (and funny) questions… it’s a special thing to have the youngest members of our society being concerned for people doing it tough and being invested, at such a young age in caring for each other in meaningful and tangible ways. The grocery collection will fill hampers, pantries and plates and more importantly hearts, with the knowledge that the community, young and old, cares and is invested in helping each other through.
We are very thankful for the school having chosen Carevan Blacktown to shine a little light on, as part of how the community can serve those experiencing poverty, and of course thankful for our long association with Tyndale. Huge gratitude to Kate, their teacher for organising this visit and to all the teachers and staff who made Carevan welcome and of course to the kids of Year 6, their families, and the school for the incredibly generous donation.

Carevan Blacktown “Feeding the People “

Feeding the People is at the core of Carevan Blacktown’s mission and the kitchen, like in many families, is at the heart of this endeavour

Carevan serves up around 80 + meals on a Tuesday evening and we are providing hampers and emergency meals through the week; this work is growing beyond the capacity of the few that manage this and we need some help and would LOVE your involvement.
We often receive enquiries about assistance from people keen to help but unable to commit to regular street team evenings, for all kinds of obligations and commitments, but this doesn’t diminish their generous offer of care…
And so, dear Carevan community, this week we are starting something new and we are asking for assistance. We need meals…
We are forming a group within Carevan, which we have christened “CAREVAN KITCHEN”  which will be a community collective of cooking and meal donations to increase our meal supply and support the teams working so hard each week,  to serve up to our Carevan family.
We always need trays of food to serve, to freeze and to add to the food we currently receive and make ourselves.
Everyone is welcome to donate meals, big or small, on an ad-hoc basis or perhaps become part of a regular cooking team or roster. We are very grateful for anything you would like to add…
You may already be a friend, volunteer or Carevan community follower … or a neighbour, family or friend of someone who is…you may want to make something once a month, a fortnight or just a once-off contribution. You certainly don’t have to prepare enough for 80 … any help is enough to help … and is wonderful.
You can use your own ideas, your grandmother’s best recipe, kid’s least favourite, school recipe books or family faves… or just mix up a big batch of generosity sprinkled with the power of kindness and drop it to us (or we can collect) …get in touch with so we know “what’s cooking” and we coordinate, so as not to waste a single sprinkle.
Volunteering for Carevan Blacktown or any charitable organisation, brings with it all kinds of benefits and you’ll never feel better than when your food is served to folks who would otherwise be going without… or at least without YOUR yummy food… or rather … edible love 

Carevan Kitchen

Would you like to contribute to our cooking community?
If you’d like to join with us, in delivering kindness and a warm meal with the ‘Carevan Kitchen’ team ?
Please get in touch ?

Carevan Blacktown Charity Affiliates and Support

This image below, taken from a recent Foodbank NSW and ACT appeal is both poignant and pertinent to our own service and our charity’s mission. It illustrates perfectly why Carevan Blacktown and many other charities like us, do what we do, why YOU, our supporters and donors do what you do … for folks you may or may never meet.
This is the fundamental reason why Carevan Blacktown came into being in 2011; to provide meal support for people who have so little or for whom each week means juggling tiny incomes to address the essentials, manage the unforeseeable and still have something left for food. Often for the elderly, the pensioners, the under or unemployed or the minimum wage earners, the meal or rather an adequate, nutritious, sustaining meal, is the sacrifice.
It’s why (sadly, in most respects) Carevan have seen such enormous growth over the past 10 years in those in need and attending our evenings. It’s why we serve, trying as best we can to care for individuals, struggling to meet the basics of human requirements each week and to do this with kindness, dignity, and without judgement.
Principal among these requirements too, is the simple human need for companionship and community and this underpins the success of our community weekly meal service. (though is this the right word? ‘success’ as our CEO has once said, would be no one in need and no one at our doors!)
The Carevan Blacktown family of volunteers and supporters work very hard each week to provide a conduit between an amazingly generous community and its most vulnerable members. Foodbank’s posting message and image, a reminder of why we serve.
We are grateful every week for our friendships and connections with organisations that make our service possible at all, such as FoodBank, OzHarvest, Hunter Hampers, Parklea stall holders Bob and Boris, Norwest Christian school, Dearest Lips, Blacktown Masonic lodge, Blacktown Council and so many, many others that support our work in so innumerable ways big and small, every scintilla of care is worth its weight in gold.
Our amazing volunteers are the oil (more valuable even than at the pumps right now!) that turns the Carevan wheels. We are very grateful for all those who’ve reached out to join us via SEEK and Messenger over the past couple of weeks. With new members coming on board to provide much needed hands. We are beyond grateful for the attention shown us. ? We hope that your volunteering experience will be as fulfilling as its contribution is to the lives of those who will benefit from your time, care and kindness.
The wet weather didn’t keep us away this past few weeks nor the community from our doors, much of this owing to the access to and use of, the amazing facility that is the community hall, which the council graciously allows us the use of. Were we to still be in the car park this past (and future weeks by the look of the forecasts) many would simply have gone without, but a roof over the head makes many things possible.
Thank you all, YOU all make it possible

Carevan Blacktown Welcomes 2022

We are back for 2022, Back to the lovely cool Community Hall at Lalor Park to serve up our meal and hamper service for the New Year
As with every year, our meals come to us courtesy of the cooking dynamos of the Carevan Blacktown community.?  Norwest Christian School, “Erkso Eats” (Erskine Park High School) Roshni, the Blacktown Sai Centre, and our own cooking team of Carevan Volunteers. Our meals are supplemented by hampers and other goodies from the amazing crew at OzHarvest, food from Foodbank, Donna and Hunter Hampers, and Boris and Bob at Parklea Markets… AND of course lots of clothing, blankets and household goods from the amazing community and friends.
The first week out we served up a chicken dish made from the wonderful bounty we received from Hawkesbury’s Helping Hands in the first few weeks of 2022…. As featured in our Facebook postings, this produce godsend will help us for many months to come in supporting our meal service. We are very, very thankful to Linda and her team and to the bigger process in the chain of events and work that saw this produce redistributed and not wasted, which it might otherwise have been. We will ensure that we make the most of the blessing this is and are truly thankful.
We have begun receiving hampers from our friends at OzHarvest once more, as they too commenced the new year after well-earned Xmas breaks for all. We hope support for this awesome program will continue into 2022, benefitting charities like ours and of course the wider community, but principally because this organisation ensures produce use, reuse and waste reduction, in so many different and valuable ways.
We are masked up and ready for 2022 and what it has in store, but whatever it is it will be done together with our amazing community, partners and support networks, all of which make our week to week possible.

                                                                                  Happy New Year and see you in it

welcome back decorative lettering text greeting card with burst explosion

Carevan Blacktown Celebrating Christmas Day 2021

The Carevan Blacktown family have come together and celebrated this lovely time when, unlike any other time of the year, we are filled with the spirit of giving and receive ourselves, the most incredible support and generosity from a truly amazing community. ?
We have closed out the year with an extraordinary evening on the 21st December, serving over 200 people with a Christmas meal, hampers and gifts for all passed on, on behalf of an overwhelmingly generous community.
On Christmas day morning we held our annual breaky BBQ. The food for this is donated each year by Pamela and her amazing team of friends and colleagues, who provide us with a wonderful bounty of BBQ goodies (bacon, eggs, sausages and so much yummy food) which is all prepared and served up by our Carevan volunteers and supporters. ?
Our thanks also to Sunil who provided bread rolls for all and who took a turn with the tongs at the BBQing as well.
Christmas hampers, gathered and wrapped up with love ? and donated by Roshni and the Blacktown Sai Centre were distributed by Stephen Bali MP, who dropped by to spend some time with us, which was an honour indeed and a lovely surprise. As we do with all those who come along, we put Stephen to work with the task of distributing the hampers and then a turn at the BBQing skills with the other gents on the tongs … no one can come along to a Carevan event and not be given a task or two! Thanks Stephen for your gift of time and attention … and your work on the eggs ?
Our team of volunteers and special supporters for the day taking care of all manner of other Christmas tasks were Christmas Angels; Kimbalee, Elsebeth, Nicole, Sunil, Malcolm, Liam, Gary, Simon, Louise, Michael, Natalie, Justine and Luke, Bruce and team lead (and the hardest working CEO in town) Andrew.
It was a beautiful morning in the sunshine and a lovely way to close out the Carevan Christmas season, which has been a very busy but joyous and was full of all the good things .. a “nice” list filled to capacity and Santa’s work done for the year.
We are dependent on and grateful beyond words for the compassion and benevolence of an amazing community, which contributes food, toys, gifts, time, work and care all year long but most particularly at Christmas time and among these our partners, supporters and green army of volunteer angels ?
Carevan are simply the conduit between a warm-hearted and caring community and the people who most need their care. We cannot do our thing without this kindliness, which starts right at the top with our community leaders and is carried on down the line by people with big hearts from across all sectors and demographics.
Thank you one and all and we look forward to serving in 2022
See you on the 11th of January!
Stay safe and well and Happy Christmas

Carevan Blacktown Christmas Celebration 2021

Carevan Blacktown knows that Christmas means a little bit more … it means everything.
It is community, family and friends and care for those who need a helping hand, company and a little support at a time when we celebrate these things most and best. For many though, this is time of sadness, financial strain and loneliness, so it is with great happiness that we were able to provide an evening of “a little bit more” and then some.. on Tuesday 21st December, this week past.
2021 has been a wild and whacky ride of hard work, service and support from all quarters of our amazing and generous community. Support unfazed and unstopped by COVID and the difficulties that this has presented to so many, over the year, but culminating in a wonderful evening’s celebration of community and Christmas cheer in the grounds of Lalor Park Community Hall.
Thank you to all who have been involved, from the donation of a hamper in the months before the event to the offer of help on the day, from bags of groceries, clothing or toys towards the Mayoress gift appeal, to staff working in organisations who answer phones, put things together and pack endlessly week after week through the year, but ramp up this work as Christmas approaches.
Thanks to the lovely individuals who donated gifts, food and other items, we thank you for your generous hearts and kind contributions, every thought and piece of effort resonating in the evening’s success.
Thanks to community groups and businesses who donated financial support towards Christmas gifts, food and a place to meet, the extra mile of customer service to support our charity or a discount to help out.
Thank you to the Gods of air conditioning and the privilege that it was to be able to be inside the cool hall on a hot day of heavy graft…
To the official bodies like the council and the staff, for their support in so many ways, to the unofficial help – like shop owner Joe, who came across from the Lalor Park shops to help carry unending boxes into the hall and help with set up…earning himself a fluoro green trophy Carevan T-shirt
Thanks to the neighbourhood gals, Tash and Christina, who sang for us, like the angels they are and who gave so freely of their time and filled the hall and our Christmas service with lovely, live music.
Thanks to all the people behind the scenes and those front and centre, each cog in the machine as important as the other and we can’t do it without you all
Tremendous thanks to….
the green team for the event; Andrew, Bruce, Tracey, Kym, Kimbalee, Jade, Taz, Julie, Nicole, Leah, Daniel, Alison and Nathan, Rishi, Elsebeth, James, Natalie and Hayley ?
Thanks to the honorary Carevan family;
Glenda, Louise and Terry and Robyn and Gary
2nd Kings Langley Scouts; Ellen, Joshua, Wade, James and Melody
Katie McMaster and wonder kids Brie and Taylor for the elves’ hamper and presents ‘working bee’ in preparation for the day.
And Elsebeth ? for being everywhere we need someone … every time!
Santa’s helpers; Wade, James, Melody and Annabel (Linh’s daughter) and Santa himself!!
Linh, Carevan’s very own lovely hairdresser.
Lizzie, queen of veg and lashings of generosity
Rotaract’s Anthony and Perignon
Sunil and Essai. ?
Huge thanks to the businesses and community groups that helped us get this act together for the day;
Sydney Wide Party hire for tables and chairs and another year of lovely customer service and spot on timing and help!
The Cheesecake Shop Seven Hills and Gaby (and his friend) for delivering beautiful fruity Pavs and cheesecakey deliciousness right to our door!! ?
Good360, Foodbank, OzHarvest, St Vincent de Paul, Norwest Christian College and students and Share the Dignity for boxes and boxes of donated goods to rival Mary Poppin’s bottomless bag ! ?
And … National Storage Glendenning for un-ending patience and outstanding customer service in supporting our expanded need for storage to accommodate the enormous generosity we have been shown at this wonderful time of the year
And yet more community angels: ?
Melissa Matheson
Anne Hopkins
Jeni Simmons
Janelle lye
Glaiza ( dearest Lips)
Lucas for driving the extra truck, laden with extra gifts hampers
Bill Corless for the use of the Warehouse and affording us generous storage space, forklift and pallet access and use!
And finally a huge thank you to Mayor Tony Bleasdale and Deputy Mayor Julie Griffiths for their ongoing support of Carevan and our work and for taking time out of busy schedules to come along, share a meal and hand out the Foodbank hampers (Foodbank hampers generously funded by the council this year as last) to the happy crowd, who left laden with hampers, toys, gift packs and much, much more .. and most importantly we hope, a sense of community and care that is so evident on days such as this ⭐️
because Christmas absolutely does mean a little bit more …. ?
Thank you all ❤️