Store and corps unite to connect with community in Sydney’s west
BY FOUZIA MUBARIK AND LAUREN MARTIN
Shoppers at Seven Hills Salvos Store in Sydney’s west were able to engage with local Salvation Army services and faith expressions at a recent Community Connect event.
Salvos Stores and Blacktown City Corps partnered to create the event, designed to engage with people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and those experiencing loneliness and isolation.
Volunteers set up stations offering free food, beverages and tattoos for kids. Personnel were available to talk to people about how Blacktown City Corps helps the community.
Corps Officer Captain Fouzia Mubarik said she and her team gave people information about Moneycare, the free grocery service they run and Salvos Connect: “For many attendees, this was an invaluable opportunity to address pressing concerns and take steps toward improving their overall wellbeing.”
“It’s vital to create spaces where people from different backgrounds can come together, fellowship, and share about life,” Fouzia said. “Then we can talk about how we can help them with our programs.”
The success of the Community Connect Event was made possible through the collaborative efforts of Salvos Store Manager Rizwana Khausar, and Fouzia along with the support of Salvation Army soldiers and volunteers. Nuria Gonsalves from the Intercultural and Disability Inclusion Team was also involved in the planning of the event.
“It served as a reminder that our communities are stronger when we connect, support and uplift one another,” said Fouzia, citing 1 Peter 4:9-10, which says, “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
She says it won’t be the last time the corps and store work together to connect with and serve the local community.