Amazing Volunteer of the Month
Olcay Oj Ozdemir
Oj does a variety of warehousing roles such as picking, packing and OH&S. He usually works 2 days per week. Tuesday he assists the Free Food Shop and on Wednesday he is busy in the warehouse and outreach programs at the PCYC Mt Druitt and in Cranebrook. Oj is regarded as a Leading hand, helping to organise the team.
Oj says he gets to meet some amazing people and hear their stories and it is nice to give back.
Oj was Initially sent to us by Max Employment under the Work For The Dole scheme. Although Oj has now secured fulltime employment and is no longer required to serve, he now volunteers willingly. Oj admits that he was hesitant to come here at first, as it felt a bit daunting. But he has made such amazing friends here and really feels a part of the place. “I haven’t looked back since coming here” he said, “I wish there were more days I could come here”
Oj says that he didn’t really know that places like this actually existed. He said that you see places like this on TV but after seeing it firsthand he was blown away. The people here are amazing and what we do here is amazing. It changed my perspective on life completely.
What motivates him to keep coming back? “It is giving back to the community. Probably one of the main reasons is that I was close to homelessness myself about 9-10 years ago. To be able to show my appreciation by giving back is what makes it more complete and more rewarding”.
Why Do You Volunteer At Christ Mission Possible Today, When You Could Volunteer Anywhere?
“One of the best things about working at CMP is the atmosphere here; it is absolutely phenomenal. No matter if you’re having the worst day possible, when you come here everything changes completely. You forget about your problems and just start smiling. You do want to work; you want to do what is right. Especially having Marty around, he is absolutely amazing. My family is Muslim and when I found out this was a church, Marty knew that I was Muslim and he said it doesn’t matter; we all respect each other here and your part of the family. When he said that, my whole perspective of this place changed completely, for the better of course. I love this place It’s very hard to get rid of me here”.
Christ Mission Possible is obviously a Christian organisation.
“I speak proudly of where I am at, I have preached about it many many times. I have a large amount of friends on Facebook and the amount of times I have preached about how wonderful this place is has got about 10% of my friends doing volunteer work now. People that I wouldn’t expect would every do volunteer work are now volunteering. Some even ask for advice of me on how to do it, and where to go to.”
How Does Christ Mission Possible Makes The Impossible: Possible?
“It’s definitely a team effort and never give up. I believed in myself and prayed every single day and night that things would turn around. What I know and feel very strongly about this place is that it’s a privilege to be able to help and give back. With all the volunteers and the Work For The Dole people this place will continue to be stronger every single day and that’s how we make the impossible Possible every single day”.
“My first day here was on a Tuesday. A lady came up to me and she started crying. I asked what was wrong and she said to me that she hadn’t been able to hold a banana in her hand for so long, because they were so expensive. The fact that she could take home 6 or 7 of them to feed her kids, that for me, was like, WOW. If one person is happy over a single banana, can you image how all the other people are happy with all the other amazing things we got, the fruit and vegies that we got, all the bread that we got. We give out per family at least $200-$300 per family. That’s like $10,000 handed out every week. So we are changing their lives by feeding them. And by giving them hope, “You might think that you’re giving up, but we’re here to change that for you”.
Oj said “Australia is a multicultural country and we have to learn to share. Because that’s what we’re doing, we’re sharing our country with all these people. To share one’s love and to share ones food with someone, that absolutely beautiful”.
“I went to Cranebrook for the first time and trust was a big thing. They kept expecting that we would want something back in return from them. There was a family sitting in the car. They didn’t get out that day, but the next week they were there again. Then we starting interacting with the kids. Now every time we go there, there are about 12 kids that had never spoken to each other before and they are playing football together. Even if its just football, it’s making a change for them, building their confidence up to trust someone and to make friends again”.
I have made friends here that I can call friends for life. It’s absolutely amazing. I didn’t have that before.
“We are all here for a reason and that’s to change people’s lives”!