Hand up not hand out

Valmai has been serving HICCI for 9 years. 190371_01

By Michael Doran

Healesville Inter-Church Community Care Inc or HICCI is a network of Christian churches in the Healesville and Yarra Glen areas providing practical services and friendship to local community members.

Executive Officer Alison Gommers said that HICCI offers practical help and friendship to anyone coping with difficult times.

“We’re here to help everyone who needs help, its as simple as that,” she said. “Lots of people come in here for a chat and it leads to where we can help them. We give a hand up, not a hand out.

“We need volunteer receptionists for shifts from 9am to 12pm or 1pm to 3.30pm and it’s up to the individual how many shifts they want to make themselves available for. The roster is done a couple of months ahead so they have plenty of notice.

“Most people come in here because they are in need of assistance and to get a friendly smile means so much to someone who is already feeling anxious.”

Volunteer of nine years Valmai said: “You need to be friendly, like serving people, are caring and enjoy meeting people. It’s good to put something back into the community you are part of because it means so much to those you help.”

HICCI holds a community dinner every Tuesday at the Darron Honey Centre starting at 5.30pm. The dinners are open to the community, especially for anyone dealing with financial or social isolation issues.

“We serve a two course dinner and some people come along for the friendship, a meal or both and we encourage families to come. To talk to people is sometimes more valuable than the meal,” Alison said.

The first step is to pop into HICCI to find out about volunteering or the services they can offer. The office is at 231 Maroondah Highway Healesville or call 5911 6000.


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