The Wyong Catholic Parish outreach activities have received a major boost after their success in the July round of the Greater Bank’s #GreaterCentralCoast program.
The parish has introduced outreach initiatives targeting the lonely and isolated with seniors and students coming together for a range of activities to help each other and the broader Wyong community.
Wyong Catholic Parish Pastoral Council Chairman, Stephen Johnson, says the activities are especially important during COVID-19 lockdowns and the $2000 boost from the #GreaterCentralCoast program is very welcome.
“We have several charities that we foster, a lot of them for the homeless and those in need where we make up little boxes of goodies for whoever it is - we sometimes pick out specific things.
“We put on breakfast for men and women and there's other groups like book clubs. There’s a group of people who go to the courthouse and provide morning tea and maybe have a chat to some of the people who need a hand there. And we also visit the hospital.
“Under normal conditions, we also run programs involving local high school students and older members of the community, allowing the younger ones to learn about the days of old. We usually have a Christmas in July celebration as well,” Stephen said.
Stephen said the extra funding will go a long way to ensuring the outreach programs can continue, with the pandemic impacting parish fundraising and other activities over the past year.
“At times, it's particularly difficult, especially now given the circumstances. While there are some people who can afford to give, we usually raise funds by holding a barbeque at Bunnings, or do raffles and morning teas, but haven’t been able to do so.
“Even the volunteering we do mowing lawns has had to stop, so, it's restricted us in a lot of ways.
“We haven't had a mass for a month now, which for many people is more than just going along and saying a prayer. It's a communication network that is ongoing, and it's very important for a lot of people.
“This support from Greater Bank is a wonderful help and I thank them for the opportunity to take part in the community funding program.”
Stephen Johnson, Wyong Catholic Parish Pastoral Council Chairman
Titans Swim Club Toukley and Lifeline Central Coast both received $500 as the runners-up for the month.
Greater Bank’s Central Coast Regional Sales Manager, Josh Swetnam, said the pandemic had made normal operations – including fundraising – very difficult for many groups.
“COVID has had a major impact on all kinds of organisations over the past year and we are delighted to be able to help community groups and charities like the Wyong Catholic Parish as they find new ways of delivering vital support to vulnerable members of the community,” Josh said.
“It’s also been great to see the strong response to the #GreaterCentralCoast community funding program as these challenges continue and the need for this kind of support grows.”
The nominees for the August round of the #GreateCentralCoast community funding program are the Kariong Neighbourhood Centre, Adam (Molch) Hillier Memorial Surf Classic and Claws ’n’ Paws Rescue Inc.
The public can cast their vote online at greater.com.au/greatercentralcoast. Voting closes at 5pm on Wednesday, 1 September.