Order of Malta support for poor and vulnerable
Catholic Outlook, July 2015
The Order of Malta’s full name is the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and Malta. It was founded more than 900 years ago to "care for the sick and poor without judgment, distinction of religion, race or political persuasion".
|At the launch of the Community Care Van were (from left): Assoc Prof Anthony Schembri; Jenny O’Mahony A/Program Manager Inner City Health St Vincent’s Hospital; and David Hall.|
With just over 100 members, the Order's NSW Branch provides support for the poor and vulnerable. Over the past eight years, members have raised more than $1.3 million for Gorman House, the residential detoxification unit at St Vincent's Hospital in Darlinghurst, which treats more than 1500 men and women battling addiction each year, many of whom are homeless.
St Joseph's Hospital's Palliative Care Unit also receives support from the branch, which provides funds for medical aid and equipment not covered under normal health care budgets, such as morphine pumps or the refurbishment of quiet rooms for families and their loved ones.
In addition, since 2013 the branch has given away more than 2000 specially designed coats to the homeless, with a further 1500 coats to be distributed via the Community Care Van this winter.
What started as a NSW initiative has now gone national with many thousands of coats given free of charge each year to people who are homeless.
The coats were designed after consulting extensively with residents of Matthew Talbot Hostel and are quilted for warmth, come with a hood, are showerproof and light enough to be carried or stowed easily.
The coats also come with hidden pockets to protect what few valuables the homeless person may have and are purposely made up in black to prevent wearers standing out in a crowd and becoming targets of physical violence or theft.
To find out more about the Order of Malta’s NSW branch and to donate to support these important initiatives, visit: www.orderofmalta.org.au
People who are interested in learning more about volunteering opportunities with the Order can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations to support the Charitable Works of the NSW Branch, including the Community Care Van and Coats for the Homeless, are tax deductible and can be made by cheques payable to The Order of Malta and sent to: NSW Charitable Works, Order of Malta, 33-37 West Street, Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010.
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