Let’s work together

Randa Beirouti.(Damjan Janevski) 416967_03

Every Monday, when the sun nearly disappears from the horizon and the weather gets colder, Randa Beirouti and other volunteers from Reaching Out in the Inner West of Melbourne’ get ready in Footscray Mall to share meals with hundreds of people in need.

The demand is really high, Ms Beirouti said.

Ms Beirouti, who has been volunteering for 13 years, said the demographic of those they help has shifted significantly.

Initially, their services were primarily for homeless individuals, but now, they also assist older people, public housing residents and international students.

On Mondays, the organisation shares about 700 to 800 meals, including homemade baked goods and fresh produce, to about 500 people.

Mr Beirouti said the group relies on community donations and support from various individuals and companies.

The group also shares frozen meat on Wednesdays at the Footscray Baptist Church and gives food (including fresh produce and frozen meat) on Fridays at Unison Housing.

The help they provide, Ms Beirouti said, is not limited to food, as the group also donates drinks, jackets, and blankets, offers free washing, and provides free haircuts whenever volunteers are available.

Ms Beirouti said her motivation to help others stems from her spiritual growth and a commitment to selfless service, compassion and love for those in need.

And she invites the community to help.

“If we can continue working in the community with compassion and no judgment, through totally selfless service, we can achieve a lot more by working together,” she said.

“We never ask for money, we never ask for funds.

“If people are about to throw foods … we’re getting them. But (these foods) are totally fine. They’ve been frozen. So, let’s work together selflessly to support people in need.”

Anne Parisianne