COVID-19 has hit many in our communities hard. Families, in particular, have had to navigate the financial and emotional impacts and stress of the pandemic, something that CatholicCare Victoria continues to witness in its work with local communities across the state.
One of their clients, Angela*, is a single parent to four beautiful children. For years she has struggled to care for her family with no support from her former husband. Angela’s son also has epilepsy, and every day she lives with the fear that another seizure could be just around the corner. Between worrying about her son’s health and medical expenses, home-schooling her children during COVID lockdowns, and the constant struggle to make ends meet, Angela rarely had a good night’s sleep.
Just recently, Angela’s fridge broke down and she didn’t have the money to buy a new one. Then a higher than usual water bill came in due to a leaking pipe in her housing commission unit. It all became too much for Angela, and so she reached out to CatholicCare Victoria for help.
'I don’t like asking for help; I find it embarrassing – but I didn’t have a choice,' Angela says. 'I phoned CatholicCare Victoria the next morning.'
Angela says she was overwhelmed by the support and kindness she received from CatholicCare Victoria’s Emergency Relief team. The team was able to provide Angela with food vouchers so that she could put aside her weekly grocery money to save for a new fridge. They also managed to have her water bill reduced and her two oldest children were given pre-paid Myki cards to travel to and from school.
Angela's story is just one of many examples of practical and pastoral support offered by CatholicCare Victoria.
As the social service agency of the Catholic dioceses in Victoria, CatholicCare Victoria’s mission is to empower communities, build strength and resilience, and to help everyone reach their full potential. Each year in August, the organisation hosts the CatholicCare Sunday Appeal – its major fundraising event of the year – to enable it to continue supporting vulnerable families and individuals in local communities.
The funds raised during the Sunday Appeal will go towards providing counselling and mental health services, employment help, affordable housing, support for separating families, refugee and asylum seeker help, specialised support for children and teens, pastoral care, homelessness and advocacy support, and a variety of courses helping to strengthen relationships and wellbeing.
The Sunday Appeal will run in Catholic parishes from 7-8 August 2021. COVID-19 presents a challenge for many Catholic parishes to run the CatholicCare Victoria Sunday Appeal this year, so they are encouraging parishes and all those willing to assist to make donations online or via mail.
Justin McLellan (CNS)26 February 2024
Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS)26 February 2024