Taking on the long walk to help homeless

Guardian Angels Primary School, Ashmore

(From left) Guardian Angels teacher Brenton Edwards, school officer Di Barkley and teachers Wendy Buckley and Lee-Ann Brooks on the Long Walk Home fundraiser

GUARDIAN Angels Primary School, Ashmore, staff and students joined the Long Walk Home and raised almost $5000 for Southport Parish’s homeless outreach program, Angels Kitchen.

The 16 staff members and a number of students rose early on a Sunday morning and walked various distances from 7km to 28kms.

They were joined by Sister Elisabeth (Lis) Keane, who walked 17kms, a fantastic achievement given the retired Loreto nun is more than 80 years of age.

Guardian Angels teacher Brenton Edwards, who organised the school’s involvement in the important fundraiser, said it was a very poignant walk from Hope Island to Miami.

Brenton, who walked the full 28kms while other staff and students did various distances, said the walk was symbolic of the 28kms a homeless person walked in a week to find a safe place to sleep and rest.

“For us, as a staff, it was a way for us to raise awareness as well as spending time together on a beautiful morning,” he said.

“Giving up our Sunday morning to witness a sunrise and walk 28km was a privilege knowing that we were raising money and awareness for an organisation that gives so much to our community.”

Angels Kitchen, which began in 1992, was run by a small but committed bunch of volunteers.

The volunteers provide a nutritious, home-cooked meal every Sunday, at no charge, to all needy people who required food. 

As the hall they currently used did not have a kitchen, meals are prepared in home kitchens and transported to the venue.

With the number of attendees varying from week to week, the volunteer cooks prepared 100 serves of main course and 80 desserts.

Any food not served to tables was given out as “take-aways”, so no wastage. 

Guardian Angels’ fundraising efforts would be used to pay rent for the venue and assist in the costs of providing the weekly meals.

Brenton said the school community was in awe at what Angels Kitchen was doing to help people in real need in the community.

“Once a term, as a staff, we prepare the meals and take them down to the Southport Community Centre,” he said.

Sr Lis said she was already looking forward to joining the school for next year’s walk.

“I’m already in training and hopefully (I can) walk 21kms next year, and even more hopefully, walk 28kms the following year – if my age and knees hold out,” Sr Lis said.

“To see the smiles and hear the gratitude of the Angels Kitchen volunteers for our offering makes up for any aches and pains we suffered during and after the walk,” she said.

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