The Southern Cross

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Service with a smile

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Staff from Nazareth Catholic Community have put their artistic skills to good use to help brighten the inside of the Vinnies Men’s Crisis Centre.

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As part of their annual Staff Reflection Day on September 4, a group from Nazareth helped to paint a mural that had been designed by George Zikas who works at the centre.

George said that for the past three years he had been hoping to undertake the artwork as a way of providing a sense of ‘welcome and warmth’. When the team of seven staff from Nazareth offered their painting services for a day, he jumped at the chance.

Bianca Ferarro, one of the team members, said it was a “privilege” to work on the mural.

“George and all the men were so welcoming and engaged with us so generously,” she said.

“We are so thankful that George entrusted us to paint his vision – it was so fulfilling for us as a group, and we really hope that every time people walk past the walls they can smile and remember us, as we will remember them.”

About 40 different groups from Nazareth participated in the day, serving at various community organisations.

Some of the activities undertaken included providing cooked meals for clients at the Vinnies Women’s Crisis Centre and Hutt St Centre; cooking for Fred’s Van; gardening and general yard tidy work for Catherine House, as well as organising ‘moving on’ packs, sorting donations and toiletries for clients; hosting a high tea to benefit the Hutt Street Centre; and volunteering at Centacare’s Louise Place, Hanna Place, Malvern House and Kolbe Cottage.

Other organisations assisted were Birthline, The Village Co, Treasure Boxes, Heart and Soul Food Group, Foodbank, Clean Up Australia, Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation, Birthing Kit Foundation, Minda, Ronald McDonald House, The Good Fight mental health program and Nazareth’s own Naz Connects Food project. Some staff also helped parishioners with jobs around their homes and in their gardens.

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