At MIC we talk a lot about being of service to others and it’s something we have blogged about before.
In fact, it’s a fundamental aspect of the culture of our College and one of the pillars of our College community of which we are most proud.
But while it’s great to understand why being of service to others is important – for ourselves, our sense of self worth and our sense of belonging and community (not to mention those we are being of service to) – of course it is all moot unless we actually roll our sleeves up, get uncomfortable, give up our finite time and resources and actually do something.
And that is what the students in our Senior Phase are doing.
Every Monday morning in term time, a group of Year 10 students pile into the people mover bus of Montessori mum, Emma, and head to The Shack Community Centre in Nambour.
There, they do anything that needs to be done for the community members that utilise The Shack’s services. From cleaning, to picking up food donated by local supermarkets and using the ingredients to cook lunch, to packing snack packs and care packages of food staples for clients to take with them – to just talking to clients over breakfast and lunch, providing vital social interaction for those who may otherwise have none.
It’s about respect for others. It’s about focusing on what we can give in this world rather than what we can take. And it’s about understanding that the things we take for granted every day are a privilege and not a right.
From humble beginnings in 2002 when it was pioneered by a husband and wife team who still oversee this vital service to this day, The Shack has become part of the fabric of Nambour and its surrounding areas. The centre prides itself on providing services to clients that support self help and personal growth. Staffed entirely by volunteers, The Shack offers services including free showers, laundry and meals – and once a week clients can also meet with a doctor, a Queensland Housing representative or a Centrelink representative to help them access these important services.
Year 10 student Evan Tournier said helping at The Shack has given him a new perspective on people who are less privileged than he.
“I like going to The Shack because we get to see two sides of the story instead of one,” said Evan.
“I feel sad when I see what some people are going through – it sucks that people have to live through that. But coming out after helping people who are less fortunate I feel pretty good and grateful for what I have.
“The Shack is a warm environment for people who are down – they can chat about what’s going on and it brings them up.
“We all get to have a bunch of different experiences we wouldn’t get at home or at school. It makes me feel very warm hearted as we make them happy and we see their smiles.”
A big thank you to Emma and all of the MIC students who have been helping at The Shack every week since we started going there in 2017. You are certainly making our College proud.