Honouring Two Neighbours Aid Heroes
Bruce Garbutt (Pictured)
The Neighbours Aid family worldwide includes many inspirational people. This month we honour Bruce Garbutt who passed away recently following a long illness. Bruce and his wife Merrilyn were instrumental in finding the premises for our Lawnton store, then working hard as volunteers overseeing the operations and supporting Elaine, our first manager. Bruce will always be remembered for his servant heart, humility, love of people and generosity of spirit.
Fran Newman and her husband Greg were members of our first shop committee in 2002, becoming board members when Neighbours Aid was established. Following Greg’s passing, Fran resigned from the board and has continued on as a volunteer in the Nambour store, sorting room and more recently helping in head office and growing plants for sale. Fran visited our African projects on a number of occasions. After 19 years, she has decided that it is time to retire and we honour her servant heart and support for the Neighbours Aid vision to change the world one life at a time.
From our beginnings in 2002, Neighbours Aid’s goal has been to empower indigenous leaders, enabling them to develop the projects in the ways they know their people need. They are the experts, understanding their communities and working within their own cultures, languages and networks. This policy has proved to be the right decision, as COVID-19 took hold, preventing us from visiting our projects. We are pleased to report that despite the many challenges 2020 brought to Malawi, Kenya, India and Israel, all of the projects continue to grow, serving the many changing needs of the communities. They are still facing increasing numbers of COVID cases, lockdowns, curfews, shortages and inflation but the leaders and their teams are on the ground, supporting their communities and sadly in some instances, catching the virus themselves. We honour our Malawi, Kenyan, Indian and Israeli partners and their teams, who are all Neighbours Aid heroes.
“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you”
– Mother Teresa.