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Busily packing parcels for individuals in need, Ailleen is an advocate for providing care and assistance to those who need it.

It was 10 years ago that Ailleen, a resident at Stockland's Salford Retirement Estate, heard of a volunteering opportunity packing food parcels for a new emergency relief program in the Mitcham Hills area.

Having always had a strong urge to help others, Ailleen put her hand up to help. Little did she know that she would be asked to coordinate the program, which she did for nearly six years.

The program, Beacon Emergency Relief Service, run by the Mitcham Hills Inter-Church Council (MHICC) was set up to help people within the local community who needed support with food parcels, food vouchers, financial advice and referral to other agencies for further assistance. Government grants were available at that time and with the ongoing financial aid of the local churches the program is still continuing. Over the years, many local businesses and local people have joined in to support the program.

The initial setup of the program and coordinating the many aspects involved, took up many hours and Ailleen very much enjoyed working with the other volunteers and clients in all areas of the organisation. This year, the successful Emergency Relief Service celebrated 10 years of serving the community in the Mitcham Hills area.

Speaking about the fulfilment she receives from helping others, Ailleen had this to say.

“I remember writing a grant application to an Adelaide organisation seeking assistance for a young single mother who needed financial help to update her teaching status so she could re-apply for a teaching position,” Ailleen says. “The funding body approved the application which was great news for the client!”