Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make change.
The above quote is from Barbara Mikulski, the longest serving woman in the history of the United States Congress. She was a social worker and community organiser before being elected to office in 1977. Summarising her 40 years in office, she said "I still think of myself as a social worker. I listen to the people and when there are problems, I try to find ways to help."
Much like the Christchurch Methodist Mission, Senator Mikulski has a strong sense of social justice. She carried this within herself but ultimately worked with others to put it into action.
Our vision is a socially just and inclusive society in which all people flourish. As an organisation we are under no illusions at how ambitious this vision is or how difficult it will be to make it a reality. We also know that working in partnership with others is the only way we will be able to achieve such a daunting but necessary goal. Many people coming together is how communities are changed.
If I had to choose one word to describe 2018 it would be collaboration. Initiatives such as Housing First would not have been possible without many organisations working together. Although the Methodist Mission was at the forefront of implementing Housing First in Christchurch, 5 other local organisations are part of the management group. The Christchurch City Council, a range of Government agencies and Ngāi Tahu also help oversee the initiative.
Each one of us can make a difference this Christmas. We can see a socially just and inclusive society play out by helping someone in need or making a donation to a local charity. There are too many people in our community struggling for us to do nothing.
As great as one person can have an impact, it is together that we can truly make a change. This year has illustrated to me how much more we can achieve when working side by side. Together, we can impact the individuals and families that are struggling this Christmas as well as our communities.
Please consider supporting our work this Christmas. The Christchurch Methodist Mission is able to make a difference through the generosity of people like you.
Ngā mihi o te Kirihimete me te Tau Hou,