Jan Heckscher, Leadership Group member responsible for Member Liaison, was inspired by the story of a local university student taking the lead to provide practical support to healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I felt inspired by listening to Alex Dekker speak on Radio National. Alex is a 20-year-old Monash University science and global studies student. When the outbreak of the Covid-19 Pandemic hit, his life changed dramatically. During a phone call with his sister, a doctor working in the Covid-19 clinic at the Monash Medical Centre, she mentioned that she’d eaten nothing but a muesli bar to sustain her throughout her 15-hour shift. Alex decided to make a tray of lasagne for his sister. Realising that there were many others like his sister without the same kind of support network, he posted on Facebook offering to cook and deliver free meals to health workers on the frontline. Expecting to maybe receive 5-10 responses, he was stunned to get 60 responses within the first hour and it snowballed from there. Within a few days he had managed to organise a warehouse and a commercial cooking space in Moorabbin to boost production.
After an incredible public response and huge community support including from large corporations such as Toyota, Alex and his vast army of volunteers are now preparing and delivering over 5000 meals per week to hospitals in Victoria and NSW. Volunteers include 100 cooks and an Admin team of 50 who co-ordinate activities. He is next setting up in Brisbane.
He has established a charity “Alex Makes Meals”, becoming the fastest charity to ever be registered in only 3 hours! (a process that takes 8 weeks on average). He has also started a GoFundMe page in each State as well as a national GoFundMe page.
What a great demonstration of how one person can make a very significant difference!
Written by Jan Heckscher