“Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings” Nelson Mandela, 2005.
Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong and the St Vincent De Paul Society have enjoyed a longstanding relationship, working collaboratively to support the marginalised and socially disadvantaged within our community. Through the implementation of Mini Vinnies programs in Catholic schools, students are developing a deeper understanding of social justice issues and being provided with opportunities to put their learning into action.
On Friday 25th August members of the St John’s Catholic Primary School Dapto Mini Vinnies group, participated in a guided tour of the St Vincent de Paul shop and St Vincent de Paul House. The tour provided students with an insight into the various programs operated by the St Vincent de Paul Society and the different money raising ventures used by Vinnies to assist and support those in need. As students interacted with the volunteers, they were surprised to hear about the number of people who generously donate their time to help others.
At St Vincent de Paul House, the Mini Vinnies team observed the packing area and saw where food is placed into bags to be distributed to people in need. The house is also utilised as a service centre where specialist support is provided for people who are experiencing homelessness, or at risk of experiencing homelessness. Students discovered that 150 families visit St Vincent Paul House during the Christmas season, seeking support, food or something to make their Christmas a little more special.