The Illawarra is special place.
Special in the way our community digs in to help each other, especially when the chips are down.
And so goes the story of a small Wollongong restaurant which has been in operation for a number of years called Balinese Spice Magic, which is owned and operated by Juliana Mitry (better known as Jules).
Jules who was born in Bali and worked from the age of 4 was given a leg up by a local Illawarra family whilst working at a Balinese Resort as a teenager, and she has never forgotten it. Taken in by the couple after several visits and provided the means by which to live comfortably and study in Australia, Jules has prospered and now has a husband and three beautiful children along with her successful business.
She is determined to pay forward the love, kindness and generosity which was afforded to her as a young girl and to acknowledge and pay respect to her Balinese culture of sharing and supporting others less fortunate, and so the concept of the Soup Kitchen was born. Even more remarkable is the timing, with the first event launched in July this year during the Pandemic, despite the personal impact of COVID Restrictions on her own business and livelihood.
On Sunday October 11, SYFS were privileged enough to be the chosen charity for BSM’s Spring Mesangkepan Soup Kitchen. Having successfully launched the concept months earlier raising money for the Illawarra Women Health Centres, the basic premise is that anyone can come along and eat for free. Then if they are able to and would like to donate to the nominated charity they can. As little or as much as they like.
On this occasion, the event raised $3,830 for SYFS which will greatly assist us in the continuation of Education, Employment and Training programs for our young clients in need, and BSM is aiming to roll these out at least 4 times per year in order to support and give back to the local community that they feel has been so kind to them.
On the day, the kitchen was firing by midday, with a group of over 15 loyal volunteers donating their time (on a Sunday no less), to assist Jules with food prep, cooking, service, takeaways and front of house. Some of them children accompanied by parents, the youngest of these Jules’ 7 year old son Lando. What a special group of people they are and what a beautiful, positive atmosphere they created.
We received terrific support from local Media Partner i98FM in promoting the event, along with the Illawarra Mercury and ABC Radio. Attending on the day to show their support and contribute to the cause despite their busy schedules were Member for Wollongong Paul Scully and Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird who both enjoyed the evening greatly.
Of the many individuals and businesses who attended and donated, we must give a special thank you to our IT Partners Virtual IT Group who booked a table of 10 and were extremely generous with their donation. Virtual IT Group have been partners and strong supporters of SYFS for a number of years and offer IT solutions to businesses nationally, having offices in Wollongong, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
For a charity like ours they have been incredibly helpful in taking the time to understand our organisational objectives and provide wholistic support in the most simple and effective way possible and we can’t thank them enough.
The final word must however go to Jules, the entire Balinese Spice Magic team and your wonderful volunteers. We are extremely grateful and we look forward to supporting you in whatever way we can as you continue to assist charitable organisations like ours within the community.