Experiences shared by Carol – Volunteer at the Thread Together Mobile Clothing Hub @ AnglicareSA

A humbling and powerful experience

Changing lives for the better

At Thread Together our aim is to be able to restore dignity and hope to those in need. In doing so, we hope to reach as many people as we can. It is for this reason that we partnered with Anglicare in South Australia to create mobile wardrobes, an Australia-first initiative. AnglicareSA share much of the same values as we do here at Thread Together. Their mission is to support people to change their lives for the better.

AnglicareSA supports people through a variety of programs. They assist children, families, older people, those suffering from mental health or living with a disability, and Aboriginal people. Their services are designed to assist the community making AnglicareSA the perfect fit for our mobile wardrobe initiative. The two purpose-fitted mobile wardrobe vans deliver brand new clothing directly to communities who need it most. There is no doubt that the new clothing people receive makes a positive impact on their lives.

First steps for positive change

Carol, a volunteer worker for the AnglicareSA and Thread Together initiative, has shared with us her experiences during her time. She described the way people arrive feeling “worthless” and with “low self-esteem” but were able to leave with “a little ray of sunshine in their lives,”. On one day, she met a pregnant lady who described to her the way she felt lonely and isolated from the community because of her circumstances. This interaction highlighted to Carol the importance of new, good quality clothing for self-worth but also for belonging. This is what we, at Thread Together, are trying to provide. Through clothing we offer a way for people to feel confident and included in their own communities. The first steps toward making positive changes to their lives.

Their reactions to the van is nothing short of amazing and very humbling

It is often the little things in life that we take for granted. Carol, however, was reminded of the value in even the smaller items. She explained the basic item of socks – “we might all take them for granted, but our clients have none. So, when your feet are cold, the rest of your body is cold… I guess it seems a small thing, but to see these people and their reactions to the van is nothing short of amazing and very humbling,”. Many of the people who visit the van do not believe they are worthy of socks, or any clothing for that matter. However, Carol noted the way one man felt “so proud to think he was deserving of such clothing,” and to “see his face was wonderful”.

It’s truly amazing to see our clients walk away with new clothing

Carol expressed how grateful she felt to be able to make a difference to people’s lives, noting that “it’s truly amazing to see our clients walk away with new clothing. I, myself, am honoured to be on the front line giving out the clothing and be part of such an incredible venture,”. Giving back to a community not only benefits those in need, but also has a profound impact on the individual, as Carol experienced. Something as simple as giving up time in your day to lend a helping hand can have an even greater affect than you might imagine. Indeed, these affects are seen immediately with something as small as a smile on the face. On reflection of her time and her fondness of her time volunteering, Carol contemplates, “how do you bottle up a smile that’s full of gratitude?”.

It is clear that this powerful experience will remain with Carol for a long time to come.

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