As Easter approaches I’m reminded of the loving compassion of Jesus. He never judged the down-and-outs. In fact, he always tried to make their lives better. That sense of compassion has been a driving force in my life. In fact it guides everything I do.

Whether it’s giving a homeless person a meal or teaching a poverty-stricken child to read, my work continues to expand. In a world that seems increasingly cold and uncaring, I’m always heartened and grateful to know people like you continue to support me.

Sadly though, there are more and more rough sleepers on the streets. I’m sure you’ve seen them. We also hear about how the divide between the rich and the poor is widening. Indeed, an army of working-poor Australians now have difficulty financially supporting their families. This doesn’t only mean they have trouble putting food on the table, it also impacts on their kid’s ability to learn. Parents can’t afford books or the extra help their children need to master the basics of reading and writing. It becomes a cycle of poverty.

Thankfully, this Easter I’ve got good news. With your support my foundation is building an ever stronger community to tackle these woes of our modern world. We’re feeding even more hungry Sydneysiders. We’re meeting the primary healthcare needs of the homeless. And we’re breaking the poverty cycle by teaching even more kids the literacy skills they so desperately need. It’s all happening thanks to your kindhearted support.

Especially at Easter there is a spiritual depth to everything we do. Jan is a regular guest in my Loaves & Fishes Free Restaurant and just the other day she said: “You know, Bill, I’m not very religious. I don’t even go to church. But when I come and eat here it’s like my Holy Communion”.

When you help it doesn’t just give a hungry lady like Jan a nutritious meal, it also gives her a sense of community and belonging. I think that’s something everyone needs.

Here at my foundation I see loving kindness on show every day. I see it in the faces of my volunteers – one of whom recently cried buckets of tears when an elderly, long-time guest died. I see it in the faces of our food van drivers who go to the furthest corners of Sydney – where the poverty is rife – with hot meals for the throngs of needy people. And I see it in the faces of our educators who teach vulnerable kids the reading skills they need to live a better life.

I know that Easter is a time when many of us pull ourselves up and look for signs of light in the world. Here at my foundation we do that too. Indeed, here I see a better world. A world of kindness. A world where we polish the human spirit.

We educate the kids from poor families so they have a way out of poverty. We care for the homeless with free meals, hot showers and support as well as basic dental and medical treatment. We help single-parent families and their kids who’ve escaped domestic violence. In fact I like to think we’re living out the word of Jesus. 

It’s cradle to the grave stuff. It spans the whole cycle of life. Out of necessity this work is expanding, which is why I’m asking for your ongoing support.

Communities pull together in times of need, especially in Australia. And our community of the needy, their helpers and you, are no different. The hungry can be fed. Children can get a better life. The lonely can find kindness. It can all happen here at my foundation this Easter.

I like to think that when we look after each other and walk the path of life together we are all enriched. So this Easter I urge you to share your compassion with those less fortunate. Please give so me and my team can make life better for Australians who have so little.

God Bless
Rev. Bill Crews

About the Author: Bill Crews

Rev. Bill Crews AM is a much-loved Australian who's given over 3 million meals to the hungry and taught thousands of underprivileged kids to read. He's been recognised by The Rotary Foundation and Ernst & Young. He is on the National Trust’s list of 100 “National Living Treasures”.