Souths Cares Ambassadors, Beau Champion and Nathan Merritt, have been spreading some Christmas cheer by visiting residents of Mission Australia facilities in Redfern and Surry Hills.
The two former Rabbitohs first graders met with the residents as part of the charity’s 2016 Gift of Giving campaign.
Mission Australia provide an array of social services to community and enjoy a particularly good reputation for their work with the homeless.
Champion, who visited Charles Chambers Court in Surry Hills, was heartened by the experience.
“Mission Australia do an amazing job in the community – it’s something that we’re proud to be involved in,” said Champion.
“We enjoyed a nice morning tea with the residents, and you tend to forget that many of these people were previously homeless. To see how strong they are is incredible.
“They provide them with a roof over their head, a bed, and food, and that means everything to them.
“For myself, to be a small part of that, spreading the Christmas cheer is something I’m really proud to have done.”
The occasion wasn’t lost on those present either, when one resident speaking glowingly about having the opportunity to meet players from his favourite football team.
“It was terrific to meet a Rabbitoh and he was a really good bloke,” said the resident.
“I never thought I would meet someone from my favourite football team but I did and I even had a chat with him.”
Souths Cares General Manager, Brock Schaefer, said that the charity is fortunate to have the support of the local community, and the Gift of Giving campaign is just one way to show their depth of appreciation.
“We owe the community a lot for their support, loyalty and respect and we are acutely aware of this,” said Brock.
“Nathan and Beau spent time getting to know the residents over morning tea, engaging them in conversation and listening to their stories.
“It’s important that our Ambassadors are engaged in genuine community activities, not just turning up to events that are little more than a photo opportunity.
“From all reports, Mission Australia found the experience to be very positive for their clients, which is great.
“In fact, Nathan and Beau have indicated that they are keen to go back to the facilities on a regular basis during 2016.”
Any community organisation who believes they may benefit from the South Cares Ambassador Program should make an enquiry via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.