Scott Vawser, our WA Chaplain, has volunteered at Christmas Lunch in the Park (CLIP) for the past nine years. We asked him a bit about his experience and why he keeps coming back.
What’s the most heart-warming thing you’ve heard a guest say about CLIP once they’ve attended?
“‘This is the best day of my year; it used be the worst!’”
What makes CLIP such a special event?
“Everyone is welcome. We have individuals who are sleeping rough, families in transitional housing, and older people with nowhere else to go. What's great is no matter your circumstances, you can come to Christmas Lunch in the Park and be among people that care. We offer reach out services for those who need it, provide gifts to children and care packs for the adults. Even though most of us start out as strangers, we all leave as friends.
What is your favourite part about the event?
As people make their way to the exit, they are thanked for ‘coming around for lunch’, just like it’s a big house and we’ve had friends over for Christmas lunch. I stand there and listen to these conversations take place with so much gratitude in my heart - I often cry.
Do you notice similarities between the stories of those who attend?
“It’s very diverse. Poverty comes in all forms – relational, financial, even spiritual. If we can address some of these, maybe even all of these, even if just for a few hours on Christmas Day, then I feel we are doing something grand!
Do you have any favourite memories from volunteers who help on the day?
“There is a lady named Lyn – a few years back she asked if she could volunteer. Christmas Day was her husband’s favourite day of the year and he had died that year. In his memory she wanted to help us out. She has come for 3 years running and just loves it. She’s a real star.
How your gift will help this Christmas
Your gift goes much further than simply paying for a meal at Christmas.
Your gift provides lasting memories, a connection to community and access to community support services for children, families and individuals giving them the best possible chance of enjoying long-term, lasting independence.
Thanks to your donations, together we’re making an important difference:
- 60,000+ Christmas meals served to individuals across the events 44 year history
- 12,268 people helped through 46 services in WA last year
- Over 3,000 volunteers have shared their Christmas with those in need
Our promise to you
Mission Australia has been helping people move towards independence for 160 years, and our commitment to this vital work has never been stronger.
Thanks to your support, together we helped 119,185 people in 2018 by combatting homelessness, assisting disadvantaged families and children, addressing mental health issues, fighting substance dependencies, and much more.
In 2018, 90.3% of our income went straight back into delivering services that assisted vulnerable Australians.
We appreciate every single donation we receive, and ensure that every dollar goes where it is needed most.