Heading towards my son’s workplace, as it was time for his shift, a line of cars blocking my only exit route from H Street to L Road was enough to annoy me. With a swift swerve and a momentary deviation, I managed to avoid being in a crisis, lateness. Continuing to drive, I pondered about the cause of obstruction in the left lane which was just outside the Seventh Day Adventist church in Mount Druitt. As the locale was the church, my guesses ranged from church-based events or funerals to even COVID-19 vaccination points. On my return journey, I noticed a large makeshift span tent and a rectangular structure in blue, unclear at the time, with OneVoice across the structure in bold, white paint, which looked more like a logo to me.
Research revealed OneVoice to be a mobile shower facility. Cruising through the official website of this non-profit organization supported by many other reputed organizations, I discovered that it was established in 2012, with its vision being restoring dignity and hope to the homeless, its values being collaboration, compassion, empowerment, respect, and their approach being ‘love out loud’. The mobile showers offered the homeless an opportunity to clean themselves, to wash and have access to clean clothes with the washing machine facility within the solar powered vehicle. Besides these, the homeless were also provided with haircuts, free food, support networks etc. I reasoned that the line of cars which caused a minor traffic jam belonged either to the volunteers or to people who have been unemployed due to COVID-19 and are yet to receive job seeker payments with which they could have had access to a roof over their heads and other necessary utilities.
Volunteering heroes, whose selfless service with the communities’ best interests at heart, cannot go unsung.