It seems everywhere that I look that I see a problem I would like to help solve, an issue I’d like to address or a challenge that I’d like to take up. But after pulling together The Perfect Gift for a Man in support of the Inspire Foundation, kicking off the Age of Conversation III (supporting Make a Wish) and #Movember – I wonder how much more I can take on. However, tonight via Paul McKeon and Leigh Sales, I learned about the desperate needs of Sydney’s Wayside Chapel. Wayside is a charity that has been in the consciousness of Sydneysiders for decades – caring for and supporting homeless people around Sydney since before I was born.
Wayside Chapel Need $2 million
As Graham Long explains:
We are in a spot of real bother with our building. We’ve already lost the use of both levels of our theatre. It is boarded up and we cannot enter it. It is condemned. We have now lost the use of the upper level of our main building because of fire risk. The third level of our main building is jammed in every corner with our staff and I have to find somewhere to put them. The lower levels of that building are full of staff and programme areas … Our programmes are successful and expanding just as our building is shrinking.
To address this, the Wayside Chapel need not just good will, but hard dollars – not one, not two but probably THREE million dollars. Graham believes that ONE THIRD of that could be raised – but has turned to Kevin Rudd and the Australian Federal Government for help with the other $2 million. But there is a catch:
Every Federal Minister seems to know about us and love us and believe in our work, but we don’t seem to fit anyone’s category for funding. Unless someone can judge us with a broader view, we might be sunk.
It’s Not About Money, It’s About Relationship
Clearly the Wayside Chapel has community support. They even have political support. But neither of these things are turning to action. The immediate problem is not financial – it is a problem of relationship. What needs to happen is for someone, someone close to the Prime Minister, to put Graham Long’s letter into the hands of Kevin Rudd.
Now, if I had Kevin Rudd’s phone number I’d give him a call. Unfortunately, I don’t. But you know what? One of you might. Or might know someone who does. If YOU do, please pass on this message. Send a link to someone who knows someone.
It will only take you a moment. And in that moment you will help Wayside Chapel continue to change the lives of all those others that we, personally, cannot.