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Penrith Church of Christ believe that people don’t need a handout, they deserve a hand up. They believe in supporting people as they can while maintaining their dignity and pride. They do this through 2 platforms – Picking up the Pieces (PUP) and Women in Need (WIN). Picking up the Pieces & Women in Need are also projects of Careworks NSW.
Picking up the Pieces (PUP) at Penrith Church of Christ partners with a local community group – Mama Lana’s Community Foundation – which helps the homeless and disadvantaged in the Penrith area.
The PUP Team provides & serves the evening meal to the Mama Lana patrons every Wednesday night. An average of 70-80 patrons, including families and children receive a hot meal and take-away food packs.
Last year, the PUP team hosted a number of special events for the patrons including the State of Origin on the big screen and Christmas in July. Approximately 80 people came along & were treated to a traditional Christmas feast and a sing-a-long of everyone’s favourite carols.
During the year we were asked to help host a wedding for two of the patrons, at which Pastor Dave officiated. This was quite a collaborative effort involving many local businesses who generously donated resources to ensure the day was everything a couple could wish for!
We also had the privilege of holding a memorial service for one of the patrons who passed away.
We love being able to be ‘the church’ within this community.
At Christmas time the PUP team became aware of a family who had been evicted from their home. They had three small children and a baby on the way. The team made Careworks aware of the need and staff from the Fresh Hope Ministry Centre responded with generous gifts for each family member. The joy on the faces of the children and the gratitude and thanks from the parents was really touching. How good is it to be agents of love and compassion in a hurting world!
The staff from the Fresh Hope Ministry Centre also provided individual hygiene packs for the Mama Lana patrons for Christmas. These packs were really well received and were gone in a flash! It can be easy for us to take these simple things for granted, but for those in our community who are rough sleepers – they are luxuries and are of great worth!
As individuals we can do good things. As partners, we can do great things!