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Goodna volunteer making a difference for God


Maree cooks up another delicious meal as part of the Goodna Salvos catering team.

Being part of a beacon of hope at The Salvation is all-important for volunteer Maree, who has been part of the Goodna Salvos team in Queensland for the past nine years. Her role in the catering team at Goodna Community and Youth Centre brings her much joy. She shares her story of hope and faithful beginnings for Salvos Online.


 

 

My name is Maree, and I’ve been a proud member of the Goodna community for nearly two decades.

 

As a mother of three remarkable sons and two beautiful grandchildren, family has always been at the core of my life. But beyond family ties, my unwavering faith in our Creator, Yahushua – and his Son, our Mashiac – has guided my path.

 

In 2014, I experienced a spiritual awakening, a calling back to the narrow path. I was baptised and ‘born again,’ and with renewed purpose, I embarked on a journey toward the Salvos.

 

The Salvos at Goodna, once a humble café, has transformed into a beacon of hope for our community. A glimpse of my journey within its walls included salad-making adventures in the early days. Around 2015, I first stepped into the Salvos. The café was a cosy spot where people could pay and enjoy coffee and meals. 


The Goodna Community and Youth Centre. 

Thursday nights were special, with a chapel service followed by a barbeque. During one of these gatherings, I met my dear friend Sharon.

 

I was inspired to contribute, so I started making salads to accompany Gene’s mouth-watering rissoles and sausages. My informal volunteering extended to helping with post-barbeque clean-up.

 

Then came the unexpected – COVID-19. The café transitioned into a community kitchen, serving reheated meals prepared in-house. The Salvos continued to offer showers for those living on the streets, a place to do laundry and charging stations for phones. These seemingly small services make a world of difference to our community members.

 

Volunteering opportunities still abound, and friendships blossom within these walls. Our talented local musicians and singers add soulful melodies to the atmosphere.

 

Reducing tension, fostering unity 

During the past 12 months, we have experienced tensions between community members that have eased significantly. This positive change has directly contributed to a reduction in violence.

 

The new manager, Ameet, with wisdom and determination, has implemented boundaries that set clear expectations for respectful behaviours. By also regulating access to areas where homeless individuals congregate, we’ve created a safer environment for all.


Maree (right) chats with Jessica Londhe, social and prison chaplain.

Goodna Salvos café has undergone a metamorphosis. No longer confined to reheated meals, it now serves freshly cooked dishes and exceptional coffee. The atmosphere has shifted, one of being more relaxed, community-friendly and inviting. Volunteers, members and staff alike find solace within these walls.

 

Embracing change and growth 

Change is our ally. It propels us forward, fostering growth and adaptability. As a volunteer, I’ve embraced these transformations wholeheartedly. The Salvos’ mission resonates deeply with me. It’s not just about food; it’s about making a tangible difference in countless lives. Here, we form an extended family bound by a shared purpose. 

 

Our collective efforts, inspired by faith, contribute to a better community. We weave compassion, resilience and love into the fabric of Goodna. Goodna Salvos isn’t merely a place; it’s a testament to what humanity can achieve when we come together in God’s strength. 

 

I express my gratitude for the privilege of being part of this transformative journey. As I continue my journey with the Salvos, I carry gratitude in my heart. Each meal served, each conversation shared and each smile exchanged contributes to a tapestry of compassion.


Together, we weave hope, resilience and love into the fabric of our community.

 

 “Each meal served, each conversation shared and each smile exchanged contributes to a tapestry of compassion.”

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