Elie and Charbel Douna

Why we started SWAG Illawarra - A Journey of Faith and Compassion

Jul 19, 2023

I’d like to introduce you all to a very personal initiative of mine: SWAG Illawarra, a charity organization that my brother Charbel and I started with a mission to help the less fortunate in our community. Today, I want to share with you the story behind our initiative and the motivations that drive us.

Growing up, Charbel and I were always aware of the disparities in our society. We saw people in our community who were struggling, who didn’t have the basic necessities of life that many of us take for granted. It was a reality that was hard to ignore, and it touched our hearts deeply.

Our Christian faith played a significant role in shaping our perspectives. The teachings of Jesus Christ, particularly his emphasis on love, compassion, and service to others, resonated with us. We were taught to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31), and we felt a strong calling to put this teaching into action.

We started SWAG Illawarra with the belief that we could make a difference. We wanted to provide support to those who needed it most, to show them that they were not alone, and that there were people who cared about their well-being.

Our faith continues to be our guiding light in this journey. It reminds us of the importance of empathy and compassion, and it motivates us to keep going even when things get tough. We believe that every act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a big difference in someone’s life.

Starting and running SWAG Illawarra has been a rewarding experience. It has taught us the value of community, the power of faith, and the impact of simple acts of kindness. But most importantly, it has shown us that when we reach out to help others, we are not just giving; we are also receiving. We receive the joy of seeing someone else’s life improve, the satisfaction of knowing we’ve made a difference, and the blessing of being able to serve others.

We are grateful for the opportunity to serve our community through SWAG Illawarra, and we are committed to continuing our work. We believe that together, with faith and compassion, we can create a better world for everyone.

We currently run SWAG every second Monday in the evening. We are located just behind the main Wollongong Crown St Mall on Burelli Street. If you are looking f for parking, there are places near the park. Alternatively, you can park up near the Church - by the local court house and police station, and walk down through the mall.

We are there every second Monday evening. For more information follow our Instagram page

Thank you for taking the time to read our story. If you feel moved to help, please consider supporting our cause. Remember, every act of kindness counts, and together, we can make a difference.

God bless you all,

Elie Douna