BBQ for the Homeless – Musgrave Park QLD

“Sometimes, we forget how good we got it“.

She carried a pillow, a bag of bed linen and was proudly wearing her new shoes. She had a bag of clothes tucked under her arm and she was chatting to me while we waited for a fresh lot of Wagyu beef to finish sizzling on the grill.

A successful day’s shopping followed by a ladies lunch?
Hardly.

She was hauling the fruits of her labour at the BBQ for the homeless  and I was volunteering food service.

She told me it was her first cooked meal for 4 weeks.

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When Jerome from Dalton Hospitality got word that Grant Richards – known as ‘Grant the polite guy‘ – was organising yet another event to aid those who need a hand up, he was quick to jump on the volunteer wagon.

And as word spread, many Brisbane foodies got behind Jerome to pitch in and help.

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For those meeting Grant for the first time, he looks like your average, cheery well dressed person. He is energetic. He’s slightly frenetic. He is constantly on the move. Like so many, Grant has a story. His, however,  includes bad luck, homelessness and his ability to completely turn life around on itself.

Grant worked hard in charge of a kitchen in a restaurant. He had a wife, a daughter a home and responsibilities. In a blink of eye his life changed. Floor boards on an old stair way gave way. He spent nine months in and out of hospital, constantly in intense pain. As months passed, he lost his job, his marriage and his family. Homeless, jobless, he gave up on all he cared about and lived on the streets. At his lowest ebb, he says, he simply stopped caring.

Grant is now remarried (to his former wife), runs his owns business and spends an amazing amount of hours working to help and offer a ‘hand up’ to those who have fallen on hard times.

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But today wasn’t about Grant.

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It was about this guy, who used to teach magic tricks to his children.

He doesn’t know where they are now.

It was about the tall, thin man who came and asked for onions, 3 beef patties, 2 sausages and some carrot on his plate. Each time he would point to the desired pieces of food and where he wanted them to be.  Nothing was allowed to touch. And when I say ‘each time’ – it’s because he had this same meal no less than 7 times over 4 hours.

By the end of the day we were old mates.

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And this girl, who called me Aunty, in respect. This was her first ever new dress. She could not stop skipping (and eating cherries!)

There was the guy from New Zealand, who was flown over here by our Mining system on the promise of a job. Within 3 weeks the QLD mining industry had financial issues and made huge job cuts. He can’t afford to get home, has no job and is not eligible for Centrelink payments. He came along to see if he could help out.

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And these guys, who gathered fresh clothing, shoes and toiletries to get them through another few weeks. And around 1000 others who came and went during the day via arranged transport systems so they could visit the food bank, collect  some clothes and items, have a medical check before being transported back to their suburb.

Yeah, it was about them.

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And even this guy, who spread some Christmas cheer through the day despite the sweltering 33+C   heat.

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As the sun set over Musgrave Park, I think he spread a little bit of cheer over us as well.

Between us, our group feed over 1500 people at this event.

If you want to help – contact me directly, or contact ‘Grant the polite guy‘. For more photos, pop over the facebook page album here.

Full list of donators:

  • Dalton Hospitality  Chefs, food, coldrooms and more
  • Belmont Roads Meat – Brett – @BelmontRoadMeat
  • Audra James – @Audra_James toiletries
  • AAA Financial – Dorene – aaafin.com.au cash donation for food items.
  • @Piggyeatalot – clothes and cash
  • Karen and John Reyment @TheWordonfood  and @FoodLifeImages – both were helping on the day and Karen helped pass info onto her food contacts which resulted in donations from belmont road meats and chouquette patisserie
  • Chouquette Patisserie new farm – bread and pastries
  • Merlo Coffee Bowen Hills / Catherine Michael Marketing Director – 480 bottles of water.
  • Yelp! Brisbane – Lani Pauli @LaniPauli @YelpBrisbane – 200 bottles of water
  • Trent of Bakers Delight Newmarket – fresh sliced bread.
  • Perry’s Party Hire Redcliffe – use of 150 chairs. https://www.facebook.com/PerrysPartyHire
  • @YangWong – tables
  • Nikos  2 marquees
  • Ross Gordon Electrical Services- transported chairs, donated use of trestle tables.
  • Amelia @_liquidity – Liquidity Marketing – organising help
  • Baker’s Delight – bread
  • Flour and Chocolate – bread and pastries
  • warehouseshopping.net – bottled water
  • Knitting for the needy provided blankets and woollen garments
  • Footpath Library
  • Judy (Swat) Tan – boxes of fruit

7 responses

  1. You are an amazing person Rhu. As are all the people who got involved, and all the people who get involved everywhere.

  2. Rhu, I’d love to help. I had no idea this event was even going on (to caught up in my own life, obviously). Next time for sure. I’ve got loads of homemade jam to donate for all those croissants! xx Angela

  3. Thank god for people like this. Our heartless government does nothing to help the homeless and there are far more of us that will become homeless in the near future as prices for everything go through the roof. Charity organisations don’t get assistance from the government and I have just heard the most disgusting thing. The Labor government is cutting back on single parents pensions putting them on a Newstart allowance instead and telling people that if they can’t get by to seek assistance from charitable organisations. How disgusting is that?

  4. That is amazing. I’m always heartened to know that the compassion in this world outweighs the malice and that many people who have survived tough times are so generous in helping others survive them too.

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