The Uniting Church WA International Partnerships and Development Commission (IDPC) is engaged with four key partners: in West Papua, Timor Leste, West Timor, and Sri Lanka.
During COVID-19, all the partners have had to adapt to the crisis to promote health advice, support access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and basic sanitation and hygiene, as well as support access to emergency food supplies due to broken supply lines. With the impact of COVID-19 on our international partner churches, there was a call for more support.
Leeming Uniting Church responded by donating the money from our annual fundraising dinner to be held in February to this worthy cause. The congregation also agreed to match all money raised dollar for dollar. Sadly, due to a COVID-19 shutdown this was postponed to later in the year. Due to the need for urgent funds, Leeming donated $2 500 in anticipation of raising that amount.
The event was eventually held on Saturday 9 October with Rev Brian Thorpe and Lyn Callaghan, members of the IDPC, speaking at our service prior to that, inspiring us with stories of IDPC projects.
At our annual fundraising dinner, held at Leeming Uniting Church member’s Shirl and Roy Francis’ home, we normally aim for 60 guests where we serve a three-course meal with alternate plate drops. We ask for a minimum donation which is collected on an honour basis. With raffles and the generosity of those attending who enjoy their meal and are willing to pay more, we are usually able to raise a generous amount of money.
Although this is a fundraiser it is also an opportunity for us to build relationships with those in the community as we invite our friends, family and neighbours to share a meal with us. A team of volunteers under the co-ordination of Shirl Francis work hard to make this happen. We have chop-slice-dicers, those who help set-up, those who plate up, serve, clean-up and of course those who spend the time to invite their friends – as without that we would not raise much money.
Our attendance numbers were down to 41 in October due to many various circumstances. All we could do was place it in God’s hands and hope that we could raise the $2 500 already gifted.
God never disappoints. Despite our low numbers we exceeded all expectations and made a profit of just over $3 200. This means that the IDPC can expect the balance of about $3 900 shortly.
Thank you to all those that attended and helped, and to Brian, Jan and Lyn who volunteered to help serve. Never underestimate the gift of hospitality. God can use that in a powerful way.