Javad and Mojtaba came to Australia as refugees and have been living in Brisbane since 2013. Unable to work due to visa restrictions they approached the Centre to offer their time as a volunteer in the Thrift Shop. The guys blossomed and soon Javad was using his skills as a tailor to mend and repair clothes for the Shop and for Harmony Club clients. “We love to help other people” says Javad, when asked why he volunteers. Mojtaba agrees, “Yes, and we like to learn a new culture and habits from Australians”. They are a popular duo amongst the Thrift Shop volunteers and Neighbourhood Centre staff. “We are very happy because people are very kind, I like them a lot”. Volunteer Coordinator Ash says that Javad and Mojtaba are “two of the most likeable people you will ever meet” and that their contribution to the Centre cannot be quantified. The positive attitude they exude is contagious and are an integral part of our team.
Elma has been volunteering at St. David’s Neighbourhood Centre for 15 years. Here are her words. “I absolutely love volunteering at the Harmony Club. I get as much out of the experience as the clients do and the changes you see in people are amazing. They enter the group as shy, quiet individuals but soon bloom like flowers into confident people who make lifelong friends. The Centre is a fantastic, supportive place that is happy and homely and without the services they provide the local community would be at a great loss.” Elma (L) with Amanda modeling for the Harmony Club Fashion Parade)
“I have been volunteering in the Harmony Club since August 2013 and have loved every minute of it. There is always something new to learn from the members about how they grew up and how different the world is from when they were children. I started volunteering because I thought it would be a good way to get to know the community that I had recently moved to. I have always enjoyed working with the elderly and the staff at St. David’s Neighbourhood Centre are great.” – Amy Coppo – (Amy (R) with Svenne during Melbourne Cup celebrations))