Through an initiative proposed by administrative dean Shane O’Brien, students, staff and parents are cooking food and donating a range of items to be distributed by the Adelaide Day Centre.
Mr O’Brien said during the school holidays he became aware that the centre was struggling to keep up with an increased demand for assistance – and decided that St Ignatius’ needed to do something about it.
“I delivered food parcels (to the centre) in the school holidays over three days and the staff there expressed the dire situation they were facing with the needy of Adelaide and how COVID-19 was exacerbating the increasing amount of homeless in Adelaide,” Mr O’Brien said.
It didn’t take much work in persuasion for Mr O’Brien to be met with an overwhelming amount of support from his colleagues in helping the cause.
“In the first week back at school I got staff to donate a huge amount of men’s jackets, sleeping bags and blankets. The back of my ute was filled twice!”
Seeing the potential and desire to give amongst the college community, Mr O’Brien reached out to other groups within the school. Before long students and parents had joined the donation drive that will run until the end of the Term 2.
Year 10 students recently donated four to five care packs each, consisting of toothbrushes, shampoo, soap, razors, shaving cream, towels and blankets sourced from family and friends.
Each week Tuck Shop staff are making five to six trays of lasagna with ingredients funded from various fundraisers held by the college in Term 1.
Year 11 students are making soup twice a week from donated vegetables, and Year 6 leaders at the Junior School stayed late one afternoon to bake 130 cookies for the soup van.
Mr O’Brien has been moved by the generous support of the college community.
“I am finding that our community wants to help but need to be given a vehicle or avenue of doing so. I hope that our students and families will appreciate the impact their generosity has, particularly in these difficult times,” he said.
“Our college philosophy calls us to be men and women for others and to give and not count the cost.
“We are the privileged one per cent of the world’s population and in these times we need to find ways to give. Empathy and walking with others can only help our students be better people in the future and show love.”
The Adelaide Day Centre said the donated goods were immediately passed onto to those in need, including the homeless of Adelaide, Carrington House and a large number of indigenous families and communities around urban Adelaide.
Director Sister Janet Mead is grateful for the support from Saint Ignatius’ in providing this much-needed service.
“The Adelaide Day Centre is very appreciative of everything the Ignatius school community is doing to support our service for Adelaide’s homeless and poor,” she said. “Their spirit is what is needed at this time of welfare insecurity, especially for those unemployed, for refugees here without income, for isolated homeless, and for our Aboriginal people. Our food parcels, soup and blanket run, and furniture outreach all need this support.”Jump to next article