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Lightening the load for those in need


A group of Rostrevor College students is urging local families to clear out their summer wardrobes to help ‘lighten the load’ for disadvantaged South Australians.

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The school’s Social Justice Group is conducting a major donation drive, seeking high-quality clothing, toys and homewares for Vinnies SA stores and those experiencing homelessness in the community.

Year 12 student Jamie Signorello said the approach of winter made it a perfect time to de-clutter wardrobes and homes for a good cause.

“At Rostrevor, we have a strong ‘men for others’ ethos and it’s important that we put our words into action,” Jamie said.

In keeping with the Edmund Rice tradition, one of the aims of the Lighten the Load initiative is to focus attention on the inequitable distribution of wealth in Australia and the world.

“This campaign reminds us how lucky we are and that we tend to have a lot of stuff we don’t need,” Jamie said.

“By donating clothing and other items, they will hopefully get a new life and help support those who are doing it tough.”

The Social Justice Group has set up collection points around the campus, produced flyers and developed a social media campaign calling for donations.

Vinnies’ Schools and Community Engagement coordinator, Jayne Shortt, said in addition to receiving valuable donations, the campaign encouraged students to think about the impacts of poverty and disadvantage.

“It is really pleasing to see young people showing compassion and taking action to support those less fortunate than themselves,” Ms Shortt said.

The St Vincent De Paul Society provided direct support of $2.6 million to needy South Australians last year as well as clothing and homewares valued at $80,000 to the most vulnerable. Its 36 SA stores are run by 1200 volunteers and attract 500,000 customers a year.

Both Vinnies and Rostrevor College have emphasised the need for high-quality clothing, blankets and homewares.

“A general rule of thumb is that if you’d give it to a friend, then it’s OK to give to Vinnies,” Ms Shortt said.

The Lighten the Load program was one of several social justice initiatives launched by the college on Edmund Rice Day earlier this month.

Hundreds of Rostrevor students and their families attended a Mass on May 3 which acknowledged the importance of the founder of the Christian Brothers and his love and compassion for suffering people, especially youth.

Edmund Rice Day on May 5 was celebrated at the college with fundraising activities for several charities.


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