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Gen Z bringing kindness


Full of purpose and compassion is how John Faull describes Gen Z, and he meets a lot of them as they come through his programs like Youths With A Mission Sunshine Coast (YWAM) where young people give their time and heart to serving their community.

by Rebecca Mugridge


Holly Koster is a ‘Gen Z’ young person. The kind of optimistic, hands-on youth the world really needs right now.


At just 21 years old, she is giving up her Friday nights to give back to the community by volunteering at the Anglican Church in Nambour, where she leads a team of girls to help the community volunteers there feed the local homeless.

“I think it is something I have noticed in Holly’s generation,” John Faull says with a warm smile. “I noticed after Covid that Gen Z people are very compassionate, very driven, when it comes to causes.


“There is a belief they can participate in making the world a better place.”

John says Gen Z are eager to get out there, to take up a cause and take helpful action. “I have so much hope for this new generation.


“For some of them, they were nine or ten when they saw the Global Financial Crisis hit their parents and communities, then in their late teens Covid hit the world.


“Gen Z has been marked by two major catastrophes and they want to see change, for many there is a big pull towards nursing and caring occupations, to helping the poor and the needy.”


Holly Koster is one such Gen Z person.


“I’m taking a group of three other girls every week, on a Friday night. We go and help assemble burgers, hand them out, walk around and have conversations, get to know the homeless people in our town and the community.


“The group of volunteers we assist are just so welcoming and warm and some of the most incredible people you would ever meet,” says Holly. “There is even a large group of them that drive up weekly from Brisbane to come and help.


“There is quite a big homeless community in Nambour and some of them do come back pretty often [to the meal nights] so it is great to get to know them. Just chatting to them, having conversations, is also letting them know they are loved and seen.


“It is also great to support the young families. We have noticed that there are quite a few young families that are struggling with homelessness or living out of their cars. Even if the parents are working, many still can’t find or be able to afford a house.


“Just being able to have the opportunity to connect with some of the kids and families and show them some love is so rewarding.”


With maturity and selflessness, Holly and her fellow Gen Zs show us all that we can all make a difference, and it doesn’t have to be complicated or cost a great deal of money. That sometimes doing some good can be as simple as an act of serving others, giving up a small piece of our own time for somebody else, for a cause.


“It is really important to see the world around us and to seek to help in some way. The practical element of being able to give them love through a hamburger and a drink is actually pretty powerful. Something so simple but helpful right away,” Holly adds.


John Faull and his team also help at the Nambour Caravan Park, and he currently has 54 students and approximately 80 volunteer staff working on various projects in the Sunshine Coast community.


“We’ve been doing a food program in the Nambour Caravan Park for about six or seven years now,” shares John. “Before that my wife and I lived in South Africa where we also started a feeding program that’s still running today.


“We do a lot of work overseas in places like India and Uganda, but also here locally as we are based here and a big part of our faith is about helping our community wherever we are. Helping the poor and needy is a big priority for us,” John says.


“During Covid we developed an even greater emphasis on the Sunshine Coast as we couldn’t travel. The last three years we decided to really plough into helping our local community, especially Nambour.


“We knew we had young people who were ready to get involved and wanted to make an impact on the community.”


John says there are many ways anybody can help out in their community. “In Nambour alone there are so many opportunities, such as the Shack Community Centre, which always needs volunteers.”


You can’t help but be inspired by Holly and the other young people like her. It is easy to get weighed down with the negative and sadness in the world, so it’s uplifting to see the new Gen Z like Holly see practical ways to help and live life with kindness.


“You are choosing to love and help people,” says Holly, “and that will always bring you joy.”


Holly is part of the YWAM team, you can find out more about them here: ywamsunshinecoast.com


If this story has inspired you to volunteer these links might be helpful theshackcommunitycentre.com.au, nambourmealsonwheels.com, govolunteer.com.au/volunteering/in-nambour-qld and Commlink Companions (combating isolation and loneliness of elderly people) comlinkaustralia.com.au/our-community/volunteer


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