Getting back on his feet

You might remember the story of David, who became the face of last year's St Vincent de Paul Society Christmas Appeal.

We caught up with him ahead of Christmas, when he dropped by one of our Community Support Centres to pick up a hamper for his family – and some presents for his kids.

David had been receiving help because, like many Australians affected by COVID-19, he had lost his job.

He was put in touch with the Society through a friend shortly after he was notified by his employer.

This was a rough time for David but he managed to finish 2020 on a much higher note – he found work again.

David wants full-time work and the job he’s found is part-time but, he says, it’s had a strong positive impact on his outlook and his life.

“I just feel heaps happier, in general, again. Because I can actually do stuff again. Not to mention we’re allowed to go back out. So, I can do stuff with my kids and actually have a bit of cash now to do stuff with them,” he said.

In further happy news, it’s not just any job David’s got.

“Getting my old job back was really good. I didn’t have that fear of going into a new job or anything, I went back to a place that I was familiar with and people that I knew. Not a lot of us but maybe about five or six of us came back when it opened. So, I got to see a couple of people that I used to work with as well.” 

David says that re-establishing ties to his old job and colleagues has put him in a much happier place.

“It’s great, it’s fantastic, it’s good. I don’t feel so down and so low on myself. I have a bit of self-esteem again,” he said.

David credits the St Vincent de Paul Society with making a difficult time in his life easier to deal with for a range of reasons.

“Honestly, if Vinnies wasn’t there earlier on in the year, I definitely reckon I would have struggled and just knowing that I have you guys there to support was a good thing.”

The impact the Society had on his life extends to his family as well, especially his kids.

His kids are smart and empathetic, they knew he was going through rough times and he says it affected them, too.

“They could see me stressing and struggling so, obviously, when they see that Dad is down and out it affected them as well. So, now they know that I’ve picked up my spirits, they’ve picked up theirs as well. They could see, too, earlier on in the year when I had the help from Vinnies, that without that we didn’t know what we were going to do. They could understand that as well.”

Now that conditions have improved for David and his family, he says he’s keen to help others like the Society has helped him.

“I’m hoping that I can start helping you guys now. For next year, I can be the one that’s sort of helping people, like Vinnies did for me.”