The St. Vincent de Paul Society’s annual Christmas Appeal provides financial and material support for those in need, the jobless and the disadvantaged in Melbourne and throughout the State. Our support for the jobless and the needy remains an ongoing focus as all of us navigate toward a new normal in our third year of the Covid-19 pandemic which offers new hope, more freedom and opportunities to reconnect.
The Deepdene/Balwyn, Camberwell and Wattle Park/Surrey Hills Conferences are involved in a range of outreach work, including home visits in the local parish areas and the suburbs of South and North Melbourne. Face to face visitations have once again become the norm after a lengthy period of support being arranged via telephone and postal means. In addition, some members volunteer at Vinnies Stores in Hawthorn, East Kew and Mont Albert and provide support to soup vans. We are seeing many people coming to SVDP for assistance. For many, it is the first time they have sought help. We predict that demand for our services will continue to increase over the Christmas period and beyond, particularly in the current environment of rising inflation and increasing daily costs. It is clear from the statistics set out below that the need for ongoing assistance is greater than ever before.
In the past 12 months our Conferences have provided assistance to individuals and families as follows:
|Deepdene / Balwyn Conference|
|Number of home visits/ calls:||407||(up 10% on previous 12 months)|
|Number of People assisted:||Adults:||558|
|Value of assistance provided:||$40,353||(up 48% on previous 12 months)|
|Number of home visits / calls:||128||(down 10% on previous 12 months)|
|Number of People assisted:||Adults:||151|
|Value of assistance provided:||$11,814||(down 8% on previous 12 months)|
|Wattle Park / Surrey Hills Conference|
|Number of home visits / calls:||151||(same as previous 12 months)|
|Number of People assisted:||Adults:||221|
|Value of assistance provided:||$22,824||(up 12% on previous 12 months)|
This assistance has included supermarket gift vouchers, Vinnies store vouchers, paying pharmacy bills, utility bills, and providing essential white-goods and furniture. Most importantly, a key part of our work, which is often little recognised, is to lend a listening ear.
Over the past twelve months, we have also provided $7,642 in total of assistance to 14 twin conferences in India, Myanmar and the Philippines. These areas have been badly affected by the effects of the Covid pandemic.
The Founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society, Blessed Frederick Ozanam said “Yours must be the work of love, of kindness, you must give your time, your talents, yourselves. The poor person is a unique person of God’s fashioning with an inalienable right to respect.”
All donations to our Christmas Appeal are gratefully appreciated. Please download the donation form for options available for making a donation and in particular the need to specifically make reference to your local Conference Number (Deepdene/Balwyn X22404), Camberwell (X22401) or Wattle Park/Surrey Hills (X22393) in the comments box.
It’s your compassion and support that makes our work possible. Financial donations play a critical role in sustaining the Society. The annual Vinnies Winter and Christmas appeals are the primary local fundraising activity of our conferences.
Our Conferences are always looking for new members to assist in our work. If you are interested in joining or finding out more about our works please contact the Conference President(s) (details can be obtained from the Parish Office).