St Peter Claver College's Sudsy Challenge team raised more than $6ooo forhomelessness in Australia
ORANGE was the colour of the week for 25 St Peter Claver College, Riverview, who pledged to wear the same clothes for three days to raise money and awareness for homelessness in Australia.
As part of the 2020 Sudsy Challenge – run by Orange Sky Laundry – the team raised more than $6100 after setting an original target of $1200.
College Patron, St Peter Claver's words: “We must speak to them with our hands by giving before we speak to them with our lips" inspired staff to take action and join the Sudsy Challenge.
College Assistant Principal for Religious Education, Angela Ryan, said the college community had been a supporter of Orange Sky Laundry for a few years.
“We were part of a BCE fundraising effort that helped raise money for their first van and from that it's been an organisation we've continued to support," she said.
Ms Ryan said the college also had a long tradition of supporting people experiencing homelessness.
“It's not possible for us to participate in our traditional social justice activities in this space at the moment due to COVID-19 restrictions," she said.
“But we saw this as an effective and COVID-safe way to be able to support the crucial work of Orange Sky Laundry.
“It's been a great way for us to raise money and awareness about homelessness in Australia and a good way to get our students talking about it too."
She said wearing the orange shirt for three days she became a lot more mindful of how people can take things like clean clothes and a choice as to what to wear for granted.
“I was sick for a couple of days during this time and thought how hard it would be to be unwell and not have a safe place to rest or have access to medication.
“It really made me appreciate the things I usually take for granted – like having a washing machine or a safe place to lie down when feeling unwell."
All funds raised as part of the Sudsy Challenge will help support Orange Sky Laundry's 31 services across Australia and give people doing it tough access to free laundry, warm showers and most importantly, genuine conversation.
Campus Minister Stacey Van der Westen said participating in the Sudsy Challenge was an educational opportunity for the students as well as herself.
“It was very eye-opening for the students to understand that more people than they might have originally thought are actually living with homelessness," Ms Van der Westen said.
“Personally, it was a reminder people don't choose homelessness.
“I was also grateful to have had this opportunity to contribute to something greater than myself," she said.
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