22 July 2020

Chappies and community connect to support schools during Covid-19

Posted in SU QLD

One of chaplaincy’s greatest strengths is its focus on community and bringing people together to help those in need. This has brought huge benefits for school communities, particularly in the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak in Queensland.

C3 Church is just one of many community groups that have connected with local chappies in those early days to support children, parents and teachers through this season. Pastor Sam McDonell says chaplains are able to identify and direct support to where it’s most needed.

“Heading into Covid-19, with everything shutting down and restrictions being put in place, we were looking for ways to help and partner with our community,” Sam says.

“Chappies were telling us that increasing stress and pressure was falling on teachers and other staff at schools. We wanted to help.

“We have a cafe at our church, so we made coffees for staff at local schools in our area – just to thank the teachers and let them know someone appreciates them.”

Chappy Kylie at Bald Hills State School was grateful for the support, which she was able to pass on to her school’s teachers.

“It’s a small gesture but it’s a really meaningful one,” Kylie says.

“It says someone is thinking of them. Someone appreciates the fact they are on the frontlines, at a time when most people were working from home.”

After dropping off coffees at Bald Hills, the C3 Church team went to Sandgate State High School to deliver pizzas to the teachers and staff. The school’s chaplain, Rob, was looking for a way to thank the teachers for all their hard work.

“I put a call out to some churches in the local area – asking if they could help fund a pizza lunch to help our teachers,” Rob recalls.

“C3 Church emailed me straight back and said they’d cover costs; they also came on the day and delivered [the pizzas] to each classroom where teachers were working.

“It was just to say thanks. At the time teachers were being viewed as glorified babysitters, when they were in reality trying to teach split classrooms.

“They needed to know that people appreciated what they were doing. That they are valued.”

For Pastor Sam, chaplains work as a compass – directing support to where it’s needed most.

“I don’t think chappies are particularly important in this season – they’re important in every season,” Sam says.

“School staff and parents are constantly telling us how much they value their chaplains. In crisis schools and staff are turning to their chaplain and saying – ‘please help’. And they certainly are.”

Chappies are providing social, emotional and spiritual support for communities in need because of your support and through partnerships with local businesses, community groups and churches like C3. It truly takes a village of support to bring hope to a young generation. Please keep this vital work going. Visit www.suqld.org.au/donate

Samuel Moore

Digital Media and Communications Coordinator

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