This past Neighbour Day, Nextdoor asked members across Australia to honour the neighbours who go above and beyond to better their communities. In this Neighbour Day Award Spotlight, we’ll meet Amy Basman from Glenmore Park, New South Wales.
When Amy Basman gave up her job to stay at home and take care of her four kids, she soon realised that she missed being involved in her local community, and wondered if there might be something she could do when her kids were settled into bed at night, and their Dad was home from work. Growing up, Amy’s parents had always spent time volunteering in the community, so she researched local volunteer opportunities and found the Mama Lana’s Community Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping homeless and underprivileged communities.
“I was drawn to Mama Lana’s collective passion to normalise kindness. With a motto of ‘kindness with no strings attached’ I knew it was exactly what I was searching for. It is so important not to give up on those often forgotten in our community,” said Amy. On any given night, the Mama Lana’s Foundation will serve meals to at least 100 people of all ages from newborns to seniors in the greater Penrith area. The foundation offers hot meals six nights a week, supplies and toiletry packs, as well as clothing, sleeping bags and blankets. They also assist other local charities and support services responding to crisis calls from people who need food, clothing, furniture, and even monetary donations. “When people walk through the gates [of Mama Lana’s], they know they will not only be met without judgment, but they will be met with warmth, faith, hope, reliability and stability,” Amy added.
In addition to her work with the Mama Lana’s Community Foundation, Amy also now works as a carer with Anglicare, a company that assists people over 65 so that they can live in the comfort of their own homes. Most of Amy’s clients have lived in their homes for decades, and hope to stay there for as long as possible. “To be able to help them achieve this wish simply via some physical, emotional and social support is extremely rewarding,” said Amy.
Not only has Amy selflessly supported her community through Mama Lana’s Community Foundation and Anglicare, but she has also helped members of her community firsthand. When a woman who worked alongside Amy at Mama Lana’s had to take time off from her job to care for her critically ill husband, Amy stepped in to help. She started a GoFundMe campaign and within one week, the community raised over $15,000 for the family.
Amy grew up in a strong community, where all of the local kids would play together from dawn until dusk, taking their bikes down to the bush to build forts or catch “yabbies” in Yabby Creek. Community has always been an important part of Amy’s life and her mission to help those around her has never faltered. As Amy put it,“Nothing in our life has the opportunity to flourish, without support. Like a flower needs water to thrive, we need the support of those around us to thrive.” Nextdoor is proud to celebrate Amy as an amazing neighbour who has had a tremendous impact on her local community.
Do you know someone who goes above and beyond to better your local community? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about a great neighbour in your area.