It is a long tradition in many cultures to bring extra blessings to our food by sharing our food with others and especially to those in need who are unable to easily provide food for themselves because of poverty or sickness. When they came to Australia, they did not forget this beautiful tradition and they continued to generously share with others.
For more than twenty years, here in Brisbane, there has been a tradition amongst certain nationalities in the community to arrange food rosters and visits in the first few weeks for women who have just given birth. It is recognition of the life-altering event that the mother has just gone through and understanding how mothers themselves need to be pampered and taken care of, at least at the beginning of welcoming a new baby.
It used to be that women in the particular communities organised themselves to help other ladies of their own community who they knew needed help. This provided immeasurable support to these ladies who were usually alone in Brisbane with no other family members, except their own husband and children. These same women were used to the support network of extended families and friends in their home countries, but then suddenly found themselves relatively alone in Australia, with very few people for them to trust and depend on to help them in their time of need, while they struggled to look after their families while recovering from the effects of childbirth and welcoming a newborn baby.
Women from their own communities tried to fulfil this need for support by preparing healthy home-cooked meals for the women and their families, then delivering it to their houses for the first one or two weeks after they give birth. This in turn also fostered new bonds between women, who sometimes have never met before and it helped make the recipient feel loved and supported by the community. Over time, this voluntary effort also extended to other women who may be facing other hardships like difficulties during pregnancy, hospitalisation, long-term illness, family upheavals and other events, after which women appreciate hot and delicious home-cooked meals delivered with love.
Recently, a registered charity organisation, Sisters With Helping Hands continues the beautiful tradition of all those lovely ladies today with a group of volunteers from all nationalities who regularly volunteer to cook delicious meals for the families of women who are not well enough to look after their own families. Previously, Sisters with Helping Hands depended on recommendations from their circle of friends to organise food rosters and visits for people they know in the community that needed help.
However, realizing that this is an amazingly profound and much needed assistance for many other women, who might not be know by the majority of women in the community. It was decided to register the Sisters With Helping Hands organisation with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission (ACNC) as a registered benevolent charity with a formal governing constitution.
As a result of being registered with ACNC, Sisters with Helping Hands was able to register with the Australian Taxation Office as a benevolent charitable organisation and that granted us tax deductible gift recipient status. This means that for all our volunteers, we can issue them with a tax-deductible receipt for the expenses they incurred cooking for or helping others in the community (with proof of purchase receipts). This will also expand access the services offered by our volunteers to many other women in need in the community.
Sisters with Helping Hands has engaged with medical practitioners in the Logan and Brisbane areas to allow medical practitioners to offer our services to their patients that they deem may need more support from the community. We have also made contact with other relief and support agencies to refer their relevant clients that may benefit from our services. We welcome many more volunteers to help us support other women in the community.
Sisters With Helping Hands is a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider.