Cindy finds her place in helping the homeless

23 Nov

rosies_volunteers_toowoomba_guides

By Niamh Sullivan, Bond University Journalism Student

A Gold Coast City Council employee is using her spare time to feed and clothe the homeless every week.

Cindy Ritchie works weekly night shifts as an outreach volunteer for Rosies Friends on the Street, where she distributes food and donated goods to Surfer Paradise’s homeless.

Mrs Ritchie said Rosies has become a vital part of the community and many individuals depend on their services.

“When we arrive in Surfer’s Paradise, the homeless are lined up and waiting for us,” Mrs Ritchie said.

“It is not only a chance for them to get a feed, but it’s great for them to be able to just have a chat with other people.

“Rosies has really become an invaluable part of the homeless community.”

Mrs Ritchie was inspired to volunteer after feeling the need to do something for her community.

“One day I saw a quote by Dalai Lama that said ‘You can’t find yourself unless you give yourself’ and it really spoke to me,” she said.

“I knew that I had a pretty good life so I felt the need to do something more.

“Even though it breaks my heart every day to see people in these situations, I find that I have empathy for them and the experience is always so rewarding.”

Rosies offers the perfect opportunity for people who are working full time but still want to support their community.

“When I was looking for somewhere to volunteer I needed somewhere that would still let me work full time but not many places come up,” she said.

“Rosies was the only organisation I could find that could fit around my work schedule because I can volunteer at night after work.”

In addition to their Surfer Paradise program, Rosies also runs nightly deliveries to Broadbeach and Southport, as well as operating a lunch service out of their Southport office.

Public donations of food, clothing or bedding may be dropped to their Southport office and more details of location and ways to get involved may be found on their website www.rosies.org.au.

 

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