For over 20 years, Margaret and Kenneth have supported the work of Anglicare. Our team caught up with them to find out more about what motivates them to give.
Margaret: My name is Margaret Wheelwright and I live on a NSW property that has sheep and cattle grazing. I’m married to Kenneth and we have three daughters who have grown up now and are living away in different places.
Kenneth: Kenneth Wheelwright is my name. We live in a small community east of Crookwell in the southern tablelands of NSW. I’m married to Margaret and we have three girls. Two of them are married and our youngest daughter would love to come back to the farm. We have six grandchildren.
Why do you support Anglicare?
Margaret: Supporting Anglicare is really part of my Christian journey. We’re taught by Jesus that we need to give and support our fellow man, and I so. I support people through Anglicare. It helps my faith grow. The blessings I receive by giving are just a wonderful experience in all difference ways.
Kenneth: For me it comes out of personal faith and the exhortation of Christ to go out in to the world to serve. And Anglicare for me is part of my Christian vocation, a very important part really because we’re told not necessarily to think of ourselves but to think of others, so for me Anglicare is an integral part of being part of a church and community.
When did you start supporting Anglicare?
Margaret: It was about 23 years ago when I started supporting Anglicare. I think it was through a Bishops appeal. When different appeals some up, we will give to different appeals or even in the parish with the food bank and different issues that might arise.
Kenneth: We’ve been part of St Bart’s for over 40 years, and during that time as our spiritual journey has developed, certainly my focus was sharpened. One of the things that bears on me, in terms of the talents that we’re given, we need to use them to the best of our ability. From that point of view I’ve endeavored to pursue that. I see as Christians we have a responsibility to be as faithful to that as we can.
What inspires you to give?
Margaret: I think it’s an example that was set in my family. My family were great supporters of charities and people in need. And also the teaching of Christ, it’s always been something that’s motivated me. I continue to give because of the work [Anglicare] do – it’s wonderful to see the work that they do – and the different initiatives they have. They are moving with the times they haven’t stagnated. It’s just exciting to see who they reach out to, especially young ones and youth. I’m really concerned about families and children and the support of those people. And I’m also passionate about people learning how to live in this age when they haven’t necessarily had the skills given to them – whether it be through parenting or education. For instance, to be able to learn to budget or to look after children properly, that really enthuses me. Anglicare does a good job of that and I hope it keeps going.
How has your faith influenced you?
Margaret: My faith goes back a long way. I born into a Christian family in Sydney and went to St Alban’s Church in Lindfield, I was greatly guided by the ministers at the time throughout my teenage years. Then I married Kenneth, 40 years ago now I think, and moved to the country. I did wonder why God had put me here because it was so very different – much quieter. People were more conservative in their outlook. But I’m really thankful he did because from that my faith grew in a different way. It quietened me down and made me reflect more. So I am very grateful that God has put me here.
Kenneth: I was brought up in a Christian family and we worshipped at the Presbyterian church, and it wasn’t until I was married to Margaret that we started going to the local Anglican church. We’ve been members of St Bartholomew’s every since. Being part of that congregation and seeing what Anglicare does at a local level, it seemed natural that while we support a lot of charitable causes, in more recent times we’ve decided that we need to focus on organisations that have a Christian basis to them. So it naturally comes to us with Anglicare being the charitable arm of the Anglican church that we concentrate our efforts in supporting the work of Anglicare.
How do you feel knowing that your donations are changing lives of families in crisis?
Margaret: Well, people might say it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling. But what I’ve learned is that when I give, I get back so much more. So when I give it really encourages me to give more and to reach out more. I would really be thrilled if more people would do the same thing.
Do you think donating to Anglicare makes a real difference?
Margaret: Oh yes, I think it does. Donating to Anglicare certainly does. I mean you just have to look at what they do and the lives that they help. In Goulburn we’ve got child care and family crisis services, and all sorts of things going on there, apart from what they do in Wagga and other regions in our diocese, and further afield in Riverina and Bathurst. It’s just amazing and I’m really thrilled to be able to support it.
Kenneth: I guess in some ways you do feel comfortable and it’s a good feeling to be generous and be in partnership. Considering my occupation in terms of living and working on the land where we don’t have so much connections with the needs that occur in cities and regional communities, it’s good to be able to work with an organisation that uses their resources to the best of their ability. That’s part of being a Christian so I see it as a duty. There’s no doubt that Anglicare does make a difference. The way that Anglicare responds to the way that they do help people in their daily lives just reinforces to me that we need to be as generous as we can.
Do you think it’s important to support a charity long-term?
Margaret: I think it is, because then you become part of that organism, and that’s an encouraging thing.Being in partnership is empowering in a way, to see what’s happening in that work. I really do enjoy it. I know that things are going to be done properly.