Meet our volunteer

There were so many amazing people who volunteered to make the Christmas Fiesta happen for not just one, but for both weekends. From the organisers to the clean-up crew, each event was held together by the hands of the community for their communities.

Angel Chu volunteered in this year’s Christmas Fiesta Event in both Willawong and St Lucia. Here’s her experience:

  • What was volunteering for the Christmas Fiesta like?

Being a Kid’s Activities volunteer, I got to help with running the games and helping the kids, family and friends to enjoy themselves. I also got to enjoy the extraordinary carolling performance after the booths closed.

  • What was the difference between the two events?

With the much bigger outdoor area in Willawong, it was a relatively spacious and quiet carnival for many families to enjoy a relaxing family fun time. The Auditorium was also very well equipped, providing an excellent performance experience. At UQ, it was much more crowded with the limited space, with all the kids mainly around the same area. However, it excited the atmosphere, encouraging more people to go around and keep trying out different games.

  • What was the best part of Christmas Fiesta in general?

It has been too long since I’ve been at any big community event. The best part is seeing so many different families, parents, kids or young adults genuinely having fun and enjoying the day, whether it be the games or the performance.

We are so grateful for Volunteers like Angel, who took the time to create an event that gives the community the opportunity to start the Christmas holidays. It is a testament to not having the Christmas Fiesta be a joy for those attending but also for those behind the scenes.

Stay tuned for our 2023 Christmas Fiesta volunteering opportunities here.


Christmas Fiesta 2022: It’s a Wrap!

Hands of Hope’s annual tradition of Christmas Fiesta (previously known as C4K) brings friends and family together to kick off the Christmas celebrations properly. These events have become a yearly tradition for many families in the community – with free food and drinks, and it’s impossible to stay away.

This year, we picked this up by running the Christmas Fiesta events in two locations – double the fun, covering more of Brisbane!

The first event ran at Unidus Community Centre in Willawong, where the event was run for almost a decade. Because this was the home base for the event, there was more opportunity to pack in the usual fun and games. There were many outdoor performances, a massive inflatable slide and heaps of carnival games. Tug of war may have gotten dangerously competitive, but petting the baby goats afterwards must have soothed a few losses a tad.

The second event ran the weekend after at the University of Queensland in St Lucia. In the beautiful Advanced Engineering Building, the events were held indoors. Despite the smaller location, the Christmas magic persisted. Esther Dai, who volunteered at both events, found that this worked well, creating a cosy environment for the families that attended. She said she “enjoyed seeing the community connect and have fun together – good vibes for both events!”

The Christmas Fiesta also held carolling after a big day of frolicking through the day’s event to ramp up the Christmas spirit. The program started with games, with families winning amazing prizes to kick off. Who knew frantically decorating your family like a Christmas Tree could get a bit ruthless? To fully wrap up the event, this was followed by a lot of carolling where kids and families sang along.

Having both events in different suburbs across Brisbane allowed different communities to celebrate Christmas in a more accessible way. The different locations made them unique in carrying on traditions, regardless of where families lived.

Now that Christmas 2022 is over… guess it’s time to count down to Christmas 2023 – have a happy New Year!


Written by Beatriz Polotan


Meet Our Team – Sheryl Chua

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering and will be held on 16-22 May 2022. Volunteers are vital to the success of non-profit organisations in Australia. Hands of Hope is no exception – our activities are run by loving, faithful and hardworking volunteers. Talking of loving, faithful and hardworking, let’s meet Sheryl, one of our volunteers who is all that and more.

Question: We’d love to know you better, Sheryl. Tell us about yourself.

I’m currently working full-time as a support worker. I come from Singapore and have a double degree in Behavioural Science and Justice from QUT. My childhood dream was to be a police officer. I love bushwalking, running – anything to do with the outdoors, really! And I enjoy listening to music.

Question: What do you do for Hands of Hope?

I started out packing and delivering food parcels in the Salt and Light (now known as Hope Pantry) program. I’m also a volunteer for Good Neighbours, helping out in activities for this program which brings Pallara residents together.

Question: You have a full-time job, yet make time to volunteer regularly with Hands of Hope. Why?

It’s because my passion is helping people in need of all ages and cultures. I’ve met so many interesting people when delivering food parcels! Learnt a lot from them, especially from mothers doing it tough. I’m able to understand and do so much just by listening to people. I’m glad when I can help them. If I can’t, I introduce them to another organisation that will.

Want to make an impact in the community and meet some new friends, just as Sheryl did? Join our Volunteer Team to make an impact in our community! Click this link to find out how you can make a difference.

Meet Rosalind – Hope Pantry Volunteer


Meet Rosalind, one of our faithful Hope Pantry volunteers. You can catch Rosalind in Unidus on Tuesdays or Thursdays, busy packing food parcels or loading her car with food to give away. We asked the ever-smiling and cheerful Rosalind to share her experiences:



Tell us about yourself and your role in Hope Pantry.

I’ve just graduated with a Master’s in Nursing. I’ve enjoyed helping people since I was little. When Hands of Hope asked for volunteers to deliver food parcels under the Salt and Light (now known as Hope Pantry) program, I jumped at the chance. I assemble food parcels and drive them to the homes of recipients who need the food but don’t have transport to collect it themselves.

What have you learned and gained as a volunteer for Hope Pantry?

I have gained new friends for sure! I am blessed to have built friendships with our food recipients. They have opened up to me so I have even been able to pray for them. I learned that sharing the gospel can be done by giving practical help to the community. How good it is that people can encounter and experience God’s love through what I do. Oh, and I’ve made new friends among the volunteers too. We have such a great time together, serving God and people.

Tell us of your most enjoyable moment as a Hope Pantry volunteer.

After the recent floods in Brisbane, some people donated children’s clothes to Hands of Hope. I took some of the clothes to a family with several children. The children were so happy to see the clothes that I had brought for them. I also had a food parcel for them which included an iced cake. It so happened that one of the children was celebrating a birthday that week. It was so rewarding to see them smiling and laughing. I love kids so that meant a lot to me.

What advice do you have for anyone interested in being a volunteer for Hope Pantry?

Just go for it! You never know what impact it will have on someone’s life. Your service will mean a lot to a person that needs help. God can use you to bless others in practical ways and demonstrate His love for them. 

Good Neighbours – Gardening Workshop (March)

It was a glorious, balmy March afternoon and the sun was shining. We couldn’t have asked for better weather to have our first gardening workshop for 2022 at Pallara Central Park. A dozen or so participants turned up.

One of the presenters, Kang Toh explained how he successfully grew dragon fruit, harvesting over 100 fruit last year. Eager to grow this tree and harvest its delicious (and ridiculously expensive!) fruit, the participants listened attentively and asked him a myriad of questions – how much do I water it? What kind of soil does it need?

Another presenter, Maureen, explained the many culinary and non-culinary uses of the popular and ancient herb rosemary.

Kang and Maureen had lots of free cuttings, seeds and motorcycle tyres to give away. (Motorcycle tyres??? Well, you’ll have to come to our next gardening workshop to find out how you can use them in the garden) Everyone went home satisfied with the knowledge, freebies and new friendships gained.