Maree Burgess from Vinnies, Tugun, and Lunch with Friends volunteer Karen Dick with St Augustine's Social Justice Crew and the blankets they collected for the homeless
WINTER can be a tough time for people living on the streets with a blanket the only thing providing any form of comfort.
So, as temperatures dropped on the Gold Coast, the call went out from the Social Justice Crew at St Augustine's School, Currumbin Waters, for blankets to assist those living on the streets.
The idea was simple, instead of collecting second hand blankets for those in need the call was made through the Social Justice Crew for new blankets.
The school and wider community rallied and exceeded their hopes by sponsoring a staggering 100 brand new, warm, comfortable blankets.
St Augustine's Assistant Principal for Religious Education Diane Anderson said it was difficult for those who had a home and a warm place to sleep at night to imagine having to sleep rough on the streets without a blanket to shield from the cold.
“Knowing that strangers care enough to want to help without expecting anything in return goes some way to restoring the faith of those in need," she said.
“We only need to remember the words from Matthew's Gospel; 25:35-36 'When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear'."
Diane said the purchasing of new blankets was decided on as another way to show the St Augustine's community valued the people they were helping.
“Receiving something new, given with love and compassion, is a powerful statement that the community values you."
She said the school community was shown a sample of the blankets that would be purchased and the very affordable cost of them.
“It was hoped that enough money could be collected to purchase 25 blankets," she said.
“That total was achieved in two days, and, by at the end of the second week, they could afford to purchase 100 blankets.
The Tugun St Vincent de Paul Conference and the homeless group, Lunch with Friends, who provide food from a park in Coolangatta, each received 50 of the blankets to distribute.
Diane said with the weekly visits to the Coolangatta park by Orange Sky Laundry it was hoped recipients would be able to keep warm and dry throughout the winter months.
She said the school's Social Justice Crew were now well on the way to providing the next wave of support to St Vincent's, the provision of 100 personal care packs.
“They will each contain ten items, including shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes and paste in a waterproof bag which would be distributed free to those living on the streets," she said.
Brisbane Catholic Education
243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park Q 4102
GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia
Phone: (07) 3033 7000
Fax: (07) 3844 5101