Sophie Grewcoe has been an Orange Sky volunteer for three years. Spanning three different shifts (Wickham Park, Ivory Street and now Jaeys Street) and playing a large part as team leader for the Beddown pod collaboration in Brisbane, Sophie understands the compassion it takes to bind people of all walks of life together.
“Orange Sky is now a big part of my life – I can’t imagine not being a part of this amazing organisation. Not only because, yes, I’m helping others and connecting with people… but how it affects me personally. It is a humbling experience, and has made me so grateful for the fortunate life I live.”
Today is World Kindness Day; a global day that promotes the importance of being kind to each other, to yourself and to the world. Sophie is one of many in the Orange Sky community who inspires the kindness and compassion we rely on to continue to deliver on our mission to positively connect communities.
On how volunteering has impacted her personal life, from her social circle to her family, Sophie says, “Being able to educate them and open their minds to a world they aren’t exposed to has been one of the most rewarding aspects.”
“From Kinz and Lenny [Orange Sky friends] sharing a machine every shift to save a load, to Jo with the biggest, most colourful load of washing… Every shift I look forward to Eddie turning up, seeing him waving from across the park.
“Not only do I get to listen to their life story, but they also know a lot about me. These genuine connections are what it’s all about.”
Sophie says that it tends to surprise people when they find out that not all Orange Sky friends are without a home – like Lenny.
“He was a regular every week throughout COVID, purely because he was lonely. His wife was stuck overseas for months and months, so he found us and kept on coming,” she said.
“We joked that we needed to get him a plaque with his name on it, because he sat in the same spot on the same bench every week. Everyone knew it was Lenny’s spot.”
These genuine connections, says Sophie, are what make us human, and the impact on volunteers is just as tangible as the impact on the people they help every day.
“For them to know that people really do care about them and that they aren’t invisible makes it all worthwhile. I don’t have the ideas, or the resources or the ability to ‘fix’ all the problems in the world, but I do have a heart and I intend on using it.”
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
Orange Sky acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional custodians of the land across Australia. We pay our respect to Ancestors and their descendants who hold a continued cultural and spiritual connection to the land, seas and community and would like to recognise and uphold Indigenous knowledges and contributions of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We are committed to working together to create a positive future through our Reconciliation Action Plan.