With the economic impacts of COVID-19 likely to persist and even increase as time goes on, particularly once government subsidies such as JobKeeper and JobSeeker dry up, St Vincent de Paul wants to remind the Great Lakes community it's there for those in need.
The society assists around 15 to 20 people per week in the Forster-Tuncurry area and has been extremely busy in recent times supporting drought-affected farmers, communities impacted by last year's devastating bushfires and people affected by the coronavirus.
St Vincent de Paul Forster-Tuncurry conference president, Marlene McWilliams, said the virus had not discriminated and she expected it to have a drawn out effect on the community.
"People have lost their jobs and this has flowed on to food on the table, rent pressures, pharmaceuticals, travel costs and anxiety and mental issues," Ms McWilliams said.
"The society is pleased to be able to support people in the community who find themselves struggling with day to day living."
The St Vincent de Paul Society is a lay Catholic organisation that aspires to live the gospel message by serving the poor with love, respect, justice, hope and joy, and by working to shape a more just and compassionate society.
Members and volunteers reach out to the most vulnerable in the community through conferences, special works and Vinnies shops, and do not discriminate against cultural, religious or political beliefs.
The society aspires to be recognised as a caring charity offering 'a hand up' to people in need.
With the Vinnies shop in Little Street, Forster currently closed because of COVID-19, the society is reminding the Great Lakes community that help is just a phone call away.
The phone line is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 1pm, or a message can be left at any time and the call will be returned.
People are encouraged to call if they have an urgent need or would just like to talk to someone.
Forster: 6555 8195
Taree: 6551 0143
Wingham: 6553 5598
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