A life-changing van ride
For most older Australians, being isolated from family and friends has been a lonely and challenging experience, but for 80-year-old Keith, being alone hasn’t dampened his outlook.
“Getting old can have its problems, but doing it alone is just that much harder for many. I wonder how the homeless deal with it?”
Keith’s concern for rough sleepers in Sydney began many years ago as a young adult when the local church encouraged him to count his blessings. Inspired by the motto, caritas Christi urget nos (the love of Christ urges us) Keith continues to give generously to others.
The influences…made me very grateful for the things I had and aware that not everyone had been as materially blessed, Keith
A few months earlier, a trip aboard an iconic Missionbeat van fuelled Keith’s passion for the homeless. As staff handed out warm blankets and checked the progress of their housing applications, Keith was inspired by the empathy he observed.
“The driver knew all the places where he might find a homeless man or woman with no previous contact with Mission Australia,” says Keith. “There was no patronising attitude. The people greeted us as a friend—and we assured them that Mission Australia cared about them.”
For over 40 years, Missionbeat has been serving Sydney's homeless by responding to calls for assistance. Each van is equipped to provide appropriate street support, transport to safety and ongoing case management.
Keith will never forget the rough sleepers he encountered on one of Missionbeat’s regular routes. Although already a bequest supporter, the recent pandemic prompted Keith to update his Will to cement his compassion towards vulnerable Australians.
“Whatever is left when I will no longer need it, will help them carry on,” says Keith. “Without us, who will help them?”
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