News Release

Gold Coast Volunteers Lend a Hand to Individuals Impacted by Domestic Violence

On a sweltering Saturday on Australia’s Gold Coast recently, 115 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered to serve a local refuge that supports women and children who have been impacted by domestic violence.

Members of the Church learnt about the opportunity to serve others in their community through the Just website.

Organisers identified that there were several things that volunteers could do to help those who live and work at the refuge.

Church members worked alongside residents as well as some other volunteers to complete the needed work, including yard maintenance, gathering firewood, roof inspection, paint touch-up, and other repairs.

“Everyone coming to help today has restored my faith in humanity,” said one resident.

One of the jobs involved transforming a run-down bus into a play area for children. The interior was stripped and wallpapered. With fabric donated by a local interior design store, one couple unpicked and reupholstered all the seats. A local cabinet maker offered to build all the cabinets.

A local lunch bar and bakery donated sandwiches, wraps, drinks and sweets to the residents and volunteers.

Simone Patterson, who runs the refuge was overwhelmed with how many people turned up to help.

“What was done in a few hours would have taken months to achieve,” she said.

Patterson also thanked all the men who participated, acknowledging that men can also be victims. She welcomed them at any time and explained how important it was for the residents (who have had negative experiences in the past) to see that there are good, kind men in the world.

One member of the Church said, “Simone thanked us all and spoke to us about some of the victims of domestic violence. The Spirit [of God] was so strong, despite the heat. The overwhelming amount of work to be done was achieved with miraculous ease. The Lord’s hand was there for sure.”

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