When I did my training as a Crisis Supporter with Lifeline, I never imagined that I’d walk into this kind of situation.
As soon as I stepped out of the car, I was struck by how much the fire had ravaged the bushland around the community.
But even worse was the look on people’s faces; people who’d lost houses, people who’d lost businesses, people who’d lost crops and stock. And for many of them, the fire was just the last straw after a long period of drought which saw their plants die and their animals suffer.
But through my time in this community, I discovered just how valuable a listening ear is for the brave residents.
So many of the people I spoke to told me that they were putting on a brave face, just to protect their kids and family members. But inside, they felt unable to provide, and helpless in the face of so much devastation.
And, given the opportunity to chat through what they were really feeling, the residents were so thankful, and expressed that their emotional state was really improved. Other members of our team were involved with distributing Christmas hampers and other necessities. Obviously, we couldn’t solve everything, but knowing that someone cared made such a difference to them.
Before I did the training, I hadn’t realised how much extra work Lifeline does on top of the telephone counselling. But having had the privilege of being part of a Crisis Support team for the recent bushfires opened my eyes up to the many ways that Lifeline helps out those in need – in so many different ways.
And it’s because of the recent bushfires that now is an especially important time to raise funds for the work Lifeline is doing.
When you and your network give generously as part of your Bobbo ride, you’re extending a helping hand to the people who’ve been so badly affected by the fires and letting them know that somebody cares about them. And in my experience, knowing that makes all the difference in the world.
Please take this opportunity to head to your fundraising profile, where you’ll be able to track your network, set goals, and share your cause via social media or email. It’s a great way to maximise your fundraising effort without the hassle of all the extra admin work.
I got to see a significant part of the work that Lifeline does in crisis-affected communities, and for Bobbo riders to be a part of that work is a privilege. You’re right there with the people doing it tough.