Sr Anne Mayberry: Strange coronavirus times for Remote and Rural MinistryPrint
Many organisations which give assistance to needy people, have been affected by the COVID-19 virus, including our Remote and Rural Ministry.
The usual fund-raising stalls and Bunnings barbecues have been shelved for the present as we come to grips with these most unusual times.
My initial response to the situation was to take time to ponder the ramifications. I therefore retreated to my favourite place, the garden.
In restoring a section of garden, I laid an extensive brick path, which reminded me of ‘journey.’ Where to from here, during this time of uncertainty?
I began a huge Stock take, (without the Sale). Donated goods were resorted, wrapped, packaged, labelled and boxed. Much of the beautiful clothing given to us was taken down to the Salvos in Goulburn.
I had noticed, previously, that their racks were very much depleted. They are always so grateful for assistance.
Having seen the outcome of the January fires down south, I headed to St Mary’s school in Batlow, delivering a bag of groceries for each family. An extra bag was included for a staff member who had lost her home in the fires.
Some of the children at the school were traumatised by the fires and extra cash would enable them to buy Hand puppets to work through their experiences in drama classes.
Tumbarumba was also affected and so the Community Church was given boxes of new clothes, books, and toys for the families who are visited by the local Pastor on her weekly rounds.
Prizes for Bingo, raffle prizes and knee rugs which had all been packed since February, have finally been delivered to an aged care facility in the Hunter.
At the same time, I was able to visit schools in Denman, Muswellbrook, Cessnock, and Merriwa, leaving behind a cheque to help with specific needs.
During these times, phone calls have been made to reliable connections, to enquire as to how we can assist, specially where people have been retrenched or where work places have been destroyed by the fires, e.g. timber mills. Around Batlow, thousands of acres of burnt trees have depleted stocks for local mills.
I have become a frequent customer to Australia Post, sending cheques, parcels, and boxes of goods to far off places.
We journey forward with hope, joy and much gratitude for continued support, specially from our own generous Sisters of Charity.
Image 1: Sr Anny Mayberry
Image 2: A detail from the banner of Remote and Rural Ministries