Order of Malta distribute over 200 Toombul Family Dental packs to homeless through ECM and Angel’s Kitchen
Order of Malta Members and Volunteers (OMV) in Brisbane distributed over 200 Toombul Family Dental (TFD) packs through the Emmanuel City Mission (ECM) homeless sanctuary and the Southport Catholic Parish outreach centre, “Angel’s Kitchen”.
The Order of Malta continues to serve during the 10pm-2am “midnight shift” of the ECM “Christmas Festival”, as the centre provides 24hr hospitality during the week leading into Christmas, a particularly vulnerable time for people experiencing isolation or hardship.
Recipients were surprised and thankful as they opened the TFD Christmas packs, including high quality TePe oral health kits, feminine hygiene necessities, hand sanitiser and healthy, tasty snacks. A new attendee Ellie also remarked on the “lovely Christmas bag design”.
A vulnerable gentleman urgently seeking a shower discovered new soap in his care pack, “Thanks for thinking of us”.
TFD Owner Bella Verity reflected on mobilising staff, friends and donors to support ECM and OMV for Anzac Day and now Christmas.
“I’ve never been comfortable with social inequality. I struggle to sleep at night knowing I have a comfortable bed in a safe house and others barely have access to food and shelter.
I lead a lot of young people under my care at TFD and feel a huge responsibility to be a good role model and nurture their social conscience.
I remind my team all the time that homelessness could impact any of us, and nothing in life is permanent. We’re all only one misstep or crisis away from being in a similar situation and we need to show the same empathy and understanding that we’d hope for in a challenging situation.
Through a family who visits my clinic, I know and trust that ECM and the Order of Malta are on the ground, helping people with their bare hands and heart, not 6 steps removed. I know help is going straight to where it’s needed most. They’re the kind of people and groups that I want to support”.
OMV friends of Lebanese heritage, grateful for Australian altruism towards hardships in Beirut, reciprocated with generous donations of essential groceries, care items and delicious Christmas favourites, enjoyed by the ECM community.
Attendees expressed relief and gratitude to socialise, rest and sleep in a calm, safe, warm and clean sanctuary. A long-time attendee said ECM “feels like my home”.
Magistral Chaplain Fr Gerard McMorrow again celebrated a moving midnight Mass, with guests participating in the communal Prayers of Intercession.
As more attendees arrived after midnight, volunteers helped to prepare the inflatable mattresses, provided warm drinks, supper, collected washing, maintained kitchen cleanliness, and assisted requests for clothing, first aid or mobile phone recharging stations.
Discovering an urgent need for more pillows, pillowcases and bed sheets, OMV returned the next day with donated packs.
We encourage donations of essential bedding items, which are most welcome at Emmanuel City Mission, 19 Merivale Street, South Brisbane.
Order of Malta Member Caroline reflected on the reciprocal blessings of supporting ECM.
“It’s beautiful at ECM seeing every guest welcomed with care and to see each person respect each other’s space and dignity with courtesy. A truly communal sanctuary of Christ’s love, like Pope Francis encourages, united with the Order of Malta’s Mission of care and service”.
Interested in volunteering? Register you interest: https://www.orderofmalta.org.au/i-want-to-help/volunteer/