Meet Michael: St George Dragons supporter, animal lover and gardener.
Michael loves helping people and wanted some support from Ability Links to find an opportunity where he could serve his community. We made enquiries around the community and found a place close to where Michael lives where he could assist cooking and serving food for his community.
The Salvation Army Corps in Maroubra Junction have been serving the eastern suburbs community for years and run free community breakfasts and lunches each week, feeding between 20 and 40 people each meal. Michael turned up early on a Wednesday morning to help prepare for the weekly Wednesday lunch.
Michael’s first job was to cook the burger patties and onions. Chips and burgers were flowing out of the kitchen to the hungry people, and compliments were flowing back to the volunteers about how great the lunch tasted. I could see Michael’s confidence grow as a number of people came up to him and said that he had done a great job and that the burgers were very tasty. Michael made a number of friends that day and with his awesome cooking skills on show, they wanted him to continue volunteering at the lunch.
Michael has been volunteering at the Salvos for about 2 months now and is really enjoying it. He has made a number of friends and said that he loves meeting people. When I see him at Salvos he just beams with contentment. Jacklyn from Salvos said “Michael is a great help and is always happy to jump in and do whatever is needed and he is a great cook on the BBQ. He is also great at connecting with other people”.
Bethany, who runs the lunch and breakfast for the Salvos at Maroubra Junction, also commented, “Michael started off really shy but after a few weeks he opened up and has a go at everything and is happy to do anything and uses his initiative to get things done. Sometimes I go to ask him to do something and I turn around and he has already done it”.
Michael is thriving in an environment where he is appreciated for his skills and where he feels valued. He gives meaningful service to a community that really needs it. I asked Michael what he likes about volunteering at Salvos and he said “I just love helping people”. I think that sums up Michael and why he makes such a great volunteer.