SVdP Thanks

Many Thanks
The parishioners of Pittwater Parish, are always willing to lend a helping hand to people who are struggling. Christmas time is a busy time for Vinnies and many thanks go to donors who financially support our Christmas Appeal. .Many thanks also go to those people who made up thoughtful and beautiful hampers, treasures were well appreciated by the recipients
The December issue of the Broken Bay News contained an article entitled "Thank you... for Believing in me". It was a grateful letter from  TracySaunders, to the St Vincent de Paul Society ( Broken Bay) telling them how their Indigenous Scholarship assisted her when studying for the Associate Degree in Indigenous Education  This course is designed to give students skills in Indigenous education focusing on
  • Literacy
  • mathematics
  • indigenous culture
and it is a pathway leadingto the Bachelor of Education ( Primary ) degree..The scholarship enabled her to purchase text books, literature. and a tablet computer.which enabled her to download teaching and learning apps that were useful for personal study and as a teaching aid to inspireher aboriginal students..
P,S,  The Piety Stalll will gladly accept future donations to the Christmas Appeal and provide receipts for taxation purposes, if required.

Yuletide Lights

Yuletide Lights

Last week's edition of the Catholic Weekly came with a front page picture showing the sandstone facade of St Mary's Cathedral illuminated by a colourful laser projection.of Child Jesus and Mary. Inside the Weekly was an associated article containing more such pictures from a Christmas project called "Light up the World". The creative director of the event, Anthony Bastic, said the event provided an opportunity to reflect on peace, unity, harmony and the true meaning of Christmas.

This issue of  Catholic Weekly also contained many other interesting articles including one labelled  "Help us to take the poverty out of Christmas - Vinnies". It called for generous support of Vinnies Christmas Appeal.

For more words and pictures visit www.catholicweekly.com.au. Please note that the hard copy version of  the Catholic Weekly is still good value for only $2, part of which goes to Vinnies.

P.S. We were very sorry to hear of Brian Croghan's death last week. For many years Brian was an active member of the Mona Vale Conference and in later years supported Vinnies by cash donations, He was buried from Sacred Heart Church. Please remember him in your prayers. 

Caritas helps Pakistan

CARITAS Helps Pakistan
The word caritas means love and compassion. CARITAS Australia is the Catholic agency for international aid and development. Its work is complimentary to that of the St Vincent de Paul Society. While Vinnies works with overseas countries on a local basis through the Twinning program, CARITAS has the organisation and experience to carry out large scale emergency relief.
The present natural disaster that cries out for help is the flooding of Pakistan, affecting an estimated 20 million people, mostly very poor people. Over a million of disaster victims have lost their belongings and are living in refugee camps. As floodwaters have contaminated water sources and damaged pipes, the risk of a major outbreak of disease increasing..
CARITAS Australia is responding through its international Caritas network.and local partners by providing food, safe water and shelter kits to those in affected areas. It will also work with communitiesto improve hygiene practices and repair damaged infrastructure.

You can help the suffering victims of this catastrophe by supporting the CARITAS  South Asia Floods Appeal -Pakistan

Fundraising Events

Fundraising Events

The main fundraising events of Vinnies are the Winter and Christmas Appeals. Thanks to the generosity of parishioners donations see us over the difficult times of the year. Then and at other times we appeal to the general public for additional support by way of popular, fundraising events such as the CEO sleepout. At present, there are two items on the event list on Vinnies' website:


City2Surf 2012 (NSW) which starts at 9.30 AM on the 12th of August. Vinnies is hoping for a good number of people to join their Blue Brigade team to run the 14 kilometre road race from Hyde Park,along William Street up Heartbreak Hill and down to Bondi Beach. This team will be entered in the "Orange Back of the Pack" section for walkers, joggers and pushers of prams and wheelchairs. Participants are asked to get the sponsorship of parents and friends and to nominate Vinnies as their charity of choice
Genesian Theatre Fundraiser (NSW)
which started on Saturday 28th July at the wonderful Genesian Theatre (420 Kent St, Sydney). this event is a play entitled “Money and Friends”, and half of all Box Office takings will be donated to the St Vincent de Paul Society.This superb comedy, by David Williamson, is set in a holiday beach resort where four couples periodically meet. When Peter, a mathematician, is in financial trouble because of his brother's bankruptcy, his neighbour Margaret, decides that he needs help from his wealthy friends. A reviewer says "What happens is funny and confronting".
For more visit www.vinneis,org.au and click on How to Help - Events.

Volunteers: Everyday people, extraordinary contribution

"Volunteers: Everyday people, extraordinary contribution"

Last week, was National Volunteer's Week; the above quotation was the theme of this occasion. Over 5 million adults in Australia do voluntary work each year. Dr Andy Marks, in a recent Catholic Weekly article, said that of these many volunteers, over 12,000 help the St Vincent de Paul Society in NSW in the operations of Conferences, Special Works, Youth initiatives and Vinnies Centres. By volunteering for Vinnies, either as a regular volunteer or as a volunteer on a special project, you can make a difference for those in need. Volunteering may be a chance for you to give something back to the community, to use your skills and experience in ways that make a difference in the lives of people who need their help.
Vinnies' new website suggests consideration of such volunteering opportunities as:

  • working in a Vinnies' store or depot
  • to tutoring refugee families
  • to taking disadvantaged children out on outings -
  • to befriending an elderly or disabled person in your neighbourhood

For more information,contact Jedi Karanja on (02) 9560 8666

or visitwww.vinnies.org.au

Bede Murray

Winter Appeal Film

Winter Appeal Film
A very interesting, 16 minute, documentary film telling stories about survival strategies of disadvantaged people can be seen on video at www.vinnies.org.au. It shows interviews with three people in crisis who have had to know things that no one should have to know.
The first person is Harold, a homeless man, aged 48, talking about the dangers of sleeping rough.  In the background you can see scenes of inhospitable places where the homeless seek rest. Harold's strategy is to sleep within a group because it’s safer. The second person is Renee, a 27 year old female survivor of domestic violence describing how she would hide food for herself to live on. The third is Sarah, a 40 year old mother who suffers from depression. Sarah tells of the the ways she has of controlling her violent, severely autistic son who persists in running away.
All three have been helped by Vinnies thanks to supporters of the Winter Appeal. Harold is doing a course through the Homeless Education Service to assist him re-enter the workforce, Renee has been relocated to a refuge for women, while Sarah is being visited by Vinnies' volunteers and is receiving financial support as well as respite care..
PS Don't forget the Piety Stall when buying First Communion mementos. The Stall will be open on the Communion days and also on the practice nights.

Christmas Appeal 2013

Christmas Appeal
Vinnies new website ( www.vinnies.org.au ) is up and running with a short video of interviews with  attractive, intelligent people answering the question "Why do Australians donate to Vinnies?". The accompanying text says there are hundreds of reasons but you only need one. Your donation together with others may change a life for the better.
Without the support of the community Vinnies would not be able to assist persons in need at
a joyous time of the year and soon afterwards.
Vinnies' website suggests the following examples of what good your donations to Christmas Appeal 2013 can do:
  • $15 can pay for a day’s meals for a family struggling to put food on the table
  • $30 can provide someone a bed for a night in one of our crisis accommodation services
  • $50 can provide school supplies and excursion fees for a child experiencing disadvantage.
Last year, Vinnies  provided almost $4 million to the poor and needy, about half of this amount being food vouchers and parcels. Thank you for your generous support then and now.
P.S.  The Piety stall has packet of 10 Christmas Cards for $6 and Columban Calendars for $9 each. Also late donations can be made there.

Inequality in Australia

Inequality in Australia
"Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage. Anger at the way things are and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are".
Augustine of Hippo   
Dr John Falzon, National CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society, has written a Foreword to Two Australias, a Vinnies' report on poverty in the land of plenty. In it, he thanks those who have suffered the brunt of inequality such as :
  • the woman and children who are leaving a situation of domestic violence and ending up homeless.
  • the aboriginal man or woman who have been the victims of violence and exploitation.
  • the asylum seeker who comes to Australia with some hope of a safer life. 
  • the family who has lost its source of income due to injury or illness..
Dr Falzon says our members continue to witness the daily struggle of the people in our midst who have been left out or pushed out. We continue to see the denial of fundamental human rights and the persistence of health inequalities due to disadvantage, He then quotes St Augustine's remarks as above.
P.S. Now available at the Piety Stall are new Christmas Cards, a packet of 10 for $6, and Columban Calendars for $9 each..Help spread the word about the real meaning of Christmas.

New Website

Vinnies' New Website
The Society of St Vincent de Paul Australia has just redesigned its website { www.vinnies.org.au ). The new site is much better organised than the old one, making it easier for an enquirer to find the information he/she needs. Many more pictures are now used to enliven the text and to provide a more attractive appearance to selected pages,
Options and their purposes that are provided for searching purposes include
  • Find Help: Allows the enquirer to select of a national or state region in order to find local help from Vinnies. He/she can then browse through areas of interest such as Addiction, Disability employment, Disaster recovery, Housing.
  • Get Involved : is about becoming a member or volunteer
  • Our Impact : reveals how our Society speaks up for Social Justice for the poor and disadvantaged
  • Shops :Shows you how to find a shop near your location and allows you to browse through stock 
  • Donate : Tells us about current Vinnies' Appeals and how to donate online and offline.
There is also a set of buttons for Events, News and Publications as well as a site map. Provision is even made for contacting Vinnies online through links to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.