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Burleigh Heads Church of Christ Profile

Uniting the Community with Acts of Kindness: Burleigh Heads Church of Christ

If you’re looking for a church that’s actively involved in serving the community, the Burleigh Heads Church of Christ should be at the top of your list. They offer a variety of free services to the public, including Food Help, Coffee, IT Support, Craft Mornings, Haircuts, a Low Priced Op Shop, and Orange Sky Australia. Their goal is to make a positive impact on the community by providing practical help to those who need it most. Whether you need a warm meal, a haircut, or just a friendly face to talk to, the Burleigh Heads Church of Christ is there to help.

We spoke to Ann the Administration & Op Shop Manager to get a better understanding of everything Burleigh Church does.

VGC: Tell us a little bit about Burleigh Church and what you do here:  

Ann: So here at Burleigh Church of Christ we’ve got a not-for-profit called Beached @ Burleigh, we have an op-shop that is very cheap and most items are $2 or under. We also do what we call ‘food help’ which is a free service that we provide to the community and they can come in and get some food for free just to help them out because there are so many people struggling in this current economic environment. We do a sausage sizzle on a Friday morning from 8:30 am – 10:30 am and also on Fridays we have Orange Sky. Orange Sky has a shower in the back of their van, and they also have two washers and two driers to wash people’s clothes and to give it back to them dry and ready. So we have a lot of homeless people come and do that, but also people that might not be homeless, they may have a roof over their head but just with all the expenses it’s easier for them to come and get it their clothes washed here.

We have a team of food help, we have two teams of cooks who come in on a Tuesday and a Wednesday and they do cooking of some very nutrient meals and we freeze them and give them out at here as well. So with our ‘food help,’ it is available anytime when the op is open, but the best time to come in is Friday morning from 8:30 am to 10:30 am when we also have items from AusHarvest. It’s a feast here on a Friday morning, but there are emergency food hampers available whenever the op shop is open.

How does your pay-it-forward system work?

We do $3 coffee but we also have the ability to pay it forward so people can pay for extra coffees and then people who are struggling can get a free coffee. Our coffee machine is manned by people living with a disability with their support workers Monday to Friday so they gain new skills and they really enjoy it!

How important are volunteers to Burleigh Church?

Volunteers are everything, a lot of the money we get for the food to donate comes from our op shop which is all volunteer-run. We have a team of brilliant volunteers, they come in and sort out the goods, some people do the counter, and some people just keep the place looking all nice and neat. But then there are also the volunteers that people forget and they’re the ones that take our rubbish out, bring the donations in, they do the mowing, they are an absolute blessing!

How has Volunteering Gold Coast helped you with volunteers?

We have received volunteers from Volunteering Gold Coast, and they’ve already been screened so when they come to us we already know where we can place them and what position we can put them in. VGC has already had that discussion with them about what we do and what tasks await so the volunteers already believe that this is a good fit for them before they arrive. It takes a lot of the anguish off for us for that to be available.

Is there anything you would like to let people know about the Church of Christ?

We really love our community. The people that come here we really want them to feel that this is a safe place for them. We have quite a few women coming here escaping domestic violence relationships and often they don’t have time to grab anything when they leave, like underwear, a hairbrush, or a toothbrush. Most of the time they haven’t eaten so we feed them, give them some extra food to take, and some clothes; we often give out the clothes from our op for free in circumstances like that. One woman came in with $10 to her name after fleeing a domestic situation, we were not taking any of that $10 instead gave her things that she could take and use whilst living out of her car like cutlery, pots to cook in, plates, blankets, etc. Because often if they don’t have anywhere to go they go back so we helped in however we could.

Don’t hesitate to contact Volunteering Gold Coast to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how you can get involved in places like the Burleigh Heads Church of Christ 

Click here to view current volunteer opportunities at Burleigh Heads Church of Christ or head to their Facebook page here to stay up to date.

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