Meet One of Our Volunteers, Brendon

Monday 10 May 2021

What’s your role at The Mission?
I volunteer for two shifts in Tā Te Manawa/Community Lounge every Monday. I wash dishes, serve food and hot drinks to people, and generally make sure everyone is looked after. I get to have a bit of banter with manuhiri (guests) too, which makes sure people know that they are with friends. I like how the manuhiri have gotten to know me, and there’s a bit of continuity because I’m here every week.

Why did you choose to volunteer here?
I’ve always believed in the principles of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and caring for the sick. But also, my driving force is to leave the world a better place than when I found it, and I think each of us has that social responsibility. It’s always impressed me how The Mission staff really follow through on those principles, and are part of the solution. I also like how even though this is a spiritual place, there’s no expectations – it’s all about making someone’s life better while they’re here.

What do you like most about it?
It really does feel like a home away from home. Many of our manuhiri don’t have a safe space to relax, and have no money to spend. But here, they get to sit with their mate on a couch, share some good food and a barista coffee, and have a moment in their life that lets them feel like any other Kiwi. You can see they’re really grateful to have that in their lives. Everyone who comes here is really positive, receptive and appreciative. When you talk to manuhiri about their backstories, the significance of Tā Te Manawa becomes really clear, and it feels great to be a part of that.

What would you say to others about volunteering at The Mission?
I would absolutely encourage people to try it. It can be hard because people who would otherwise be keen to volunteer are working more hours in a week, and are unable to find time. But this is work that needs to be done, for those who absolutely need our support. They might have experienced mental health issues, family breakups, or a tough upbringing, and this place is really supportive. Volunteering for a shift a week is a small commitment, but it helps keep this place operating which turns into something really big for someone who comes here!

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