“When you’re homeless, a simple smile and a word of kindness can make a big difference to your day”

Last week the second group of Year 10 girls experienced first hand why the Newtown Mission is a vital community service, helping people in need not only with food and shelter, but to see people transformed through God’s love.

Engaging and experiencing first hand the work of Pastor Sam Stamos, the extraordinary man who runs Newtown Mission along with his team of volunteers, is one way Danebank girls can live up to and fulfill our school’s motto... ‘ut prosim’, meaning That I May Serve.

The girls helped set up for a church service with everyone invited to participate through prayer and song, listening to the teachings of God and praying for those battling tough times and struggling day to day. Homeless visitors were invited to share their thoughts and experiences from the week that passed. Alyssa C was moved by their words saying: “ I thought that this was such a thoughtful thing to do as it allowed them to communicate their feelings with others, offering a real insight into their very real daily struggles.”

Danebank girls at Newtown Mission

After the service a meal is served, the girls worked in the cafe helping prepare and serve the meal. Although most of the girls admitted they were quite anxious and nervous initially, they soon realised how being homeless also has an emotional impact, and that meaningful social interaction is sometimes all that’s needed to make their day a better one.

Alyssa C said: “Once we started talking, we found we couldn’t stop… they were so kind and had many stories to tell. We were all disappointed when the night came to an end, and we had to leave and head back to school.”

Angelique D said: “Having had the opportunity to speak to some of the homeless people and learn more about their experiences was eye opening. We also learnt that many of them are regulars and come during the days and nights that the church is open as they need food and shelter.”

The girls who have participated in the Newtown Mission activities this term, feel privileged that they have had the opportunity to serve and experience first hand how a small effort on their part can have such a positive impact on others.

If you would like to know more about Newtown Mission, please visit their website www.newtownmission.org.au