Food drive a welcome initiative

Domremy College Five Dock’s social justice committee has stepped up its commitment to community with the launch of a food drive for the House of Welcome.

Social Justice Prefect Bonnie Lyons said items collected via the school’s house groups for the 2017 House of Welcome Winter Food Drive would be donated to the organisation, which provides services for refugees and new migrants. Among these is a food bank, where House of Welcome clients can purchase essential grocery items at a heavily discounted cost.

“Each Colour House has been allocated specific items, like a wish list, so that everyone can make a contribution of varied but essential items which many of us take for granted,” Bonnie said.

“These range from tinned chickpeas, to laundry detergent, to breakfast cereals. As a committee we thought that this is a small way to help those less fortunate and doing it tough. It enables the clients of the House of Welcome to choose what they wish to buy and to do so with dignity.”

Principal, Vivienne Awad is supportive of the students’ initiatives.

“We endeavour to prepare our students for an active life of commitment, so they develop into young adults who manifest a particular concern for the poor and those in need,” she said.

“We have a very active Social Justice program at Domremy led by our Youth Ministry and Social Justice Co-ordinators, Ms Jessica Touma and Mr Chris Hansford, together with our Social Justice Prefect and student Social Justice Committee.”

Mr Hansford and Ms Touma said they were reminded daily of the goodness, empathy and willingness of their students to reach out, offer assistance and make a tangible difference in the lives of those less fortunate.

The Committee has its own Google site and Instagram page to keep the others in the College up-to-date with all social justice initiatives within the school.

Making sandwiches for Vinnies is a popular activity. Students from Years 8 to 12 volunteer on a Friday after school to make fresh, healthy sandwiches and package donated items for the St Vincent de Paul Night Patrol, which feeds the homeless.

More than 75 students spend each Monday lunchtime providing conversation and companionship for elderly residents at the Parkview Nursing Home.

The College also hosted a weekend ‘Buddies Day’ for a group of disadvantaged children earlier in the year, and will again hold a Winter Sleepout in July to draw attention to homelessness.

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