The world has changed a lot in the last 12 months. For me personally, it’s been a reminder of how the important things in life, like human connection, can be taken away from us in a blink of an eye. But for our friends, that’s a reality every day.

I always get a little overwhelmed through such a poignant period like the holidays to make sure I form those really special connections in my own life. I feel very grateful that I have the opportunity to connect with my friends and family over this time, but what I’m always reminded of is that you don’t need a season or a special day to do that.

Conversations happen every day of the year on our six orange chairs, and we want to make sure we can continue that over the holidays by providing 1,400 shifts. What that means is over 1,400 opportunities for people from all walks of life to come together and connect. Whether that be an opportunity for a friend who might be doing it tough over the holidays to have a conversation, or a volunteer who is potentially lonely or isolated being able to connect with a friend; behind every one of those shifts is a really unique story and a really unique connection.

One of the toughest decisions we’ve had to make since starting Orange Sky was the decision to pause our shifts at the beginning of the pandemic. In our origin story, we talk about breaking a few sets of washing machines and letting our first ever friend, Jordan, down. Throughout 2020, there’s been people that Orange Sky hasn’t been able to help, and that’s been a really difficult thing for us to grapple with. We hope through our efforts and through our community, we can continue to show up and provide as many services as we can for people who need it.

What we’re looking at in the next couple of months is actually operating at a level higher than we were before COVID-19. That’s something that I’m really proud of. Being out on shift is really important to me, having conversations is really important to me and connecting with those amazing people who support Orange Sky is important to me.

Every day, I’m incredibly proud of the people who support Orange Sky – particularly our volunteers, who have put their own lives on hold this year to ensure that our friends have access to the services they need. From myself and from the whole team, we just want to say a massive thank you for continuing to show up over the holiday period and helping us deliver every one of those 1,400 shifts. We hope that at whatever point you have connected with Orange Sky, you know that your service has had a massive impact.

Last year, we could never have predicted or expected what has happened in the last 12 months. What gives me confidence is that the community has really rallied around each other during this time and found a way to get through it together. Although we’re still unsure what 2021 has in store for us, services like Orange Sky can hopefully make the world a better place.

Help Orange Sky provide 1,400 shifts these holidays by making a donation today. 

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Orange Sky Australia • 2020 • 17 Dover Street, Albion Queensland 4010 • (07) 3067 5800 • ABN/Charity ID: 85890622990 • We are a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) All donations over $2 are fully tax deductible as a Deductible Gift Recipient by the Australian Tax Office