2024 Winter Appeal

Winter Appeal 2024

Friday 26, April 2024

Archbishop Launches Annual Winter Appeal

Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB officially launched his annual Winter Appeal for LifeLink on Monday 29 April 2024, urging donors to “respond positively and generously to the calls of our brothers and sisters in need who reach out to us for help.”

In his appeal letter this year, Archbishop Timothy writes:

It is not long after the joyous celebrations of Easter. It was wonderful to see Churches throughout the Archdiocese filled with people giving thanks, and renewing and reenergising their own personal relationships with God.

Easter, in the land where it originated as a Christian festival, is actually celebrated in Spring. New life bursts through after long and harsh winters, and the signs of renewal and new beginnings are plain to see. Here in Australia, things are a little different. We are in the season of autumn when nature begins to make preparations for the winter which will soon be upon us. Leaves fall from the trees, the mornings and evenings are becoming cooler, and we begin to look in our wardrobes for warmer clothes, just in case.

For Christians the autumn season, while it might not seem to mirror the joy of Easter Sunday, does reflect a little better the mood of Good Friday and Holy Saturday. These days speak to us of suffering, of death and of the emptiness of bereavement. Those among us who have lost loved ones will know just how the first followers of Jesus must have felt on the day following His death.

Their hopes and dreams died with Him, and they must have been tempted to despair. But incredibly, that sorrow turned to joy when they encountered the risen Jesus and realised that all He had said about the love and compassion of God was true. Life does triumph over death; love does triumph over hate; forgiveness does triumph over retribution.

This is a message of hope which we desperately need to hear as we look around our troubled world. Good people can make a difference – and really good people can make an extraordinary difference. And when good people work together, healing and hope can overcome suffering and despair.”

This year, the Archbishop shares with us the important work of The Shopfront, an agency funded by LifeLink, which is at the front line for welfare offering help and assistance
to people experiencing great difficulty in their lives – homelessness, financial stress, addictions, violence, loneliness and isolation.

The Shopfront’s Director, Damian Walsh, is someone who almost every day witnesses the power of what can be achieved when good people come together to help those in need.

Damian said, “We continue to welcome ‘visitors’ to our centre in Bentley for the light meal served daily by volunteers from 11am-1pm. We provide access to a GP each Tuesday, and help with referrals and liaison with government and other agencies. A really important aspect of our work continues to be the development of relationships with regular visitors. There are people who are socially isolated, and the friendship they experience at The Shopfront is so important to their well-being.”

Damian added, “As other charities have stopped ‘mobile meal vans’ due to financial or other factors, there is an urgent need for this to be provided for people living on the streets. The Shopfront hopes to start its own mobile meal service to meet this need over the coming months.

The biggest growth area has been in the demand for food hampers. Last year demand rose 40% and it looks like this year we will see a similar increase. As the cost-of-living increases, rents rise and services like electricity increase, it is beyond what those who live close to the poverty line can manage. So many people are actually making the choice between having a roof over the head or buying food. The Shopfront is here to help. We do the best we can to help everyone who reaches out to us. We are so grateful to all the volunteers, Catholic schools and generous donors to LifeLink who join together to help is continue our mission of care,” he said.

The Archbishop has called on members of the Catholic and general community to join with him to raise a minimum of $300,000 to help people in need this Winter.

He writes, “I ask you to respond positively and generously to the calls of our brothers and sisters who reach out to us for help. Let’s show what an extraordinary difference we can make when good people join together. Please, give generously to my appeal.”

We pray for your generous and compassionate support.

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