Listen: Wayside Chapel CEO Jon Owen shares how to support those in Sydney experiencing homelessness this Christmas
For the 37,715 people experiencing homelessness in NSW, Christmas is going to be a lonely and difficult time. There will be no presents under the tree, stuffed stockings or a warm family lunch. But there is Wayside Chapel.
Wayside Chapel offers love and support for those experiencing homelessness and social isolation over the Christmas and holiday season.
On Christmas Day, artificial grass will cover the busy streets of Kings Cross to host the Wayside Christmas Picnic, where the community can enjoy a delicious Christmas feast.
And this year, you can get involved.
Wayside’s Donate a Plate campaign encourages people to give $25 to keep Wayside’s kitchen and cooking programs running – not only for Christmas Day, but the entire holiday period.
Over the seven days leading up to Christmas, Wayside Chapel will also host free community lunches and serve freshly cooked meals – with all the trimmings!
- $25 will provide one meal for one person
- $50 will feed a couple
- $100 will feed a family of four
- $250 will sponsor meals for a group of 10 people
- $500 will sponsor meals for a group of 20 people
Jon Owen, CEO of Wayside Chapel, told Hope Breakfast the celebration will serve as a reminder that those in the margins are not forgotten, during a period where many have been more isolated than ever.
“[At the start of the pandemic], many people were sitting there on the streets, watching everyone rush past them.
“They had nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, nowhere to isolate. That feeling of being forgotten increased tenfold.
“In every way, we are going to show people that they are loved and not forgotten.
“In every way, we are going to show people that they are loved and not forgotten,” – Wayside Chapel
“Because no one should go hungry or be alone at Christmas.”
Wayside Chapel needs to raise $500,000 this Christmas to make sure the vulnerable members of our community are fed and supported during what can be a lonely and difficult time of year.
Stand with those in crisis and let them know they’re not alone this Christmas, by donating a plate they can feast on and be part of a community event.
What it’s like to volunteer at Wayside over 39 years
Listen: Long-term volunteer Chantal Denis tells Hope Afternoon’s Ben McEachen that this will be her 36th Christmas at Wayside Chapel (5:06)