Calvary Sandhill residents chip in to help homeless

For a year, residents at Calvary Sandhill aged care home have been whipping up batches of choc-chip cookies and muffins and packaging them up for delivery to local homelessness charity, Strike It Out.

Calvary Sandhill’s Leisure and Lifestyle Coordinator, Candace Harrington, said she approached residents after seeing a post from the group on social media.

“I saw what they were doing for the community and that they needed a bit of help, so I asked some of the residents if they wanted to try it,” Candace recalled.

“They were super keen, and here we are a year on and still doing it.”

“They all look forward to the cooking day – I think there would be trouble if I took it off the activity list!”

Behind the Scenes

Resident Shirley O’Conner agrees, and says it is wonderful to do something to help others in her community.

Now in her 90s and partially blind, Shirley joins a production line of residents around the table each month sifting, adding ingredients and mixing. Cookies on month, muffins the next. Everyone takes a turn at the different tasks, and once the goodies are baked and cooled, they are packaged up into individual bags for distribution.

“We thoroughly enjoy it and all look forward to it,” said Shirley. “There are generally six or seven of us, which is ideal to sit around the table. We all know each other, so we put our gloves on and have a lovely chat as we go. After a year, we’ve become quite professional!”

“We haven’t the scope here to do a meal or something bigger, but I feel that in some small way we are helping. We enjoy it as much as the people we are making them for. We’re doing something for others, and it makes us feel wanted and have a purpose,”

“We are so lucky, and are very well fed. I think it is frightful that people haven’t got a roof over their heads.”

About Strike It Out

Strike It Out provides homeless people with meals twice a week, and emergency supplies of basic essentials. They also deliver food packages for individuals and families.

Manager of the largely community-funded service, Kirsten Ritchie, thanked residents for their support and said the baked goodies gave some welcome and delicious sustenance along with moments of joy for people less fortunate.

“We believe no-one should be left behind and these wonderful residents are helping us bring about positive change in people’s lives and creating feelings of self-worth.”

“Every little bit helps, and helping us makes a world of difference to those who need our services.”