Six community members making a difference in their fields are finalists to become the Westfield Hurstville Local Hero 2021, and you can help decide which three will receive $10,000 grants to further their causes.
Ibtisam Hammound, Community Development Coordinator at 3Bridges Community, would use the grant to help 20 vulnerable families with emergency packs, counselling, weekly support and a weekly playgroup.
"Knowing I have made a difference in someone's life, to help them feel more connected to the community they live in, and develop their knowledge and skills, is very humbling," Ms Hammound told the Leader.
"For me it's about social justice, and that we all have a role to play in supporting our communities, both on an individual level and on a collective level and that we have the capacity to make a change to improve a person's life."
We all have a role to play in supporting our communities.- Ibtisam Hammound
Ms Hammound works closely with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities, breaking down barriers and looking outside the square for new ideas to help people.
"Identifying as a Muslim woman, it is in my teachings that we are a member of this society, and each of us has a role to play where we support each other, and to support the vulnerable in our community," she said.
Another finalist is Lucillia Chan, a volunteer at the Hurstville Community Garden Association, who dedicates her retirement to helping people from all walks of life experience the joy and healing power of nature.
"It's relaxing and happy. I enjoy helping other people know more about the greenhouse effect, and I can help them to learn a basic skill and help them to learn to look after themselves," Ms Chan told the Leader.
Sofia Carvajal, ex-President of the garden, said Ms Chan "taught me everything I know".
"She uses her own money and time to run workshops, she plans them and uses seeds from her own garden, because she is so passionate about it," Ms Carvajal said.
Other finalists are Annette Mayne of The Reconnect Project, Mark Pacey of The Kids' Cancer Project, Samey Minkara of Street Industries, and Sonya Sarkis of Sweet Dreams Foundation Limited.
Vote for your favourite nominee online at bit.ly/2VAASa6 before August 30.
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