“Just because they are poor doesn’t mean they’re not as significant as us.”
Those were the words of Stavros Jabro, a Year 5 student and member of the Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School Bossley Park Mini Vinnies group.
Stavros has 17 other Year 5 members who meet every Tuesday to talk about who they can help. This year their focus is homelessness, last year it was asylum-seekers.
This week they donated 25 sleeping bags to St Vincent de Paul raised from their recent “Jersey Day” where they asked all their school to wear their favourite team’s jersey and donate a gold coin.
“I joined the group not so I could say that I have a badge but help people less fortunate in the world”
“Some of the children not only donated a coin, they donated a note or winter goods,” said the school’s Family Educator Natlene Faro, who leads the group.
St Vincent de Paul Youth Officer, Erin Rhoades, took receipt of the bags.
A large bag of children’s beanies, socks and scarves, will go to a women’s refuge “Dolores House, Bondi”. Men’s winter goods will be distributed through Vinnies Night Patrol.
Sometimes the homeless mothers will be given a pair of socks for their children but they’ll keep t them and give the socks to them as a gift.
“So their kids don’t miss out, they always have something small to give their children,” said Ms Faro.
“I go to the City and at least every 100 metres or so I see homeless people, they have a right to live like we do”
The group is now prepping for its Winter sleepout at the school in August for Year 5 and 6 students.
“Sleeping bags are the most in demand and the most expensive items,” said Ms Rhoades.
About asked the student group members what inspired them about being members of their school’s social justice group:
“Just knowing that I’m helping people – I’m not being selfish, I’m trying to help other people” Elisa Barbiera
“This group teaches me to always think – that we shouldn’t always be fussy about things we have to have” Juliana Marunic
“It’s good to know we’re helping someone and doing what God would like us to do” Abigail Babich