Vinnies Christmas Appeal – A Volunteer’s Reflection

Home visitation is the core work of the St Vincent de Paul Society and is a way by which people can be supported and encouraged to take control of their lives.  It allows Vinnies members the privileged opportunity to enter another’s home and life, to accompany them as they move forward.

Elizabeth, a volunteer with St Vincent de Paul Deepdene & Balwyn Conference reflects on her experiences with home visits.  

Val was a senior lady, a first time caller and an Aussie battler.  The breakdown of her washing machine was the last straw.  Val discreetly tried to blink away tears as she proudly displayed her certificate of appreciation for her years of volunteering at a Vinnies store.  It was so very hard for her to be asking for help.

Sally’s unit was decorated with her totems and Aboriginal flag.  Her pride in her heritage was so overlaid with the great sorrow of being part of the Stolen Generation.  Now she was doing the best she could to bring up her granddaughter and was relieved that she was at school and didn’t know grandma was asking for our help.  A voucher for some Christmas treats.  

It saddens me when the children are at home and know their parents are seeking help.  Especially hard when they probably should be at school, and worse when they are needed as interpreters.

Not knowing a soul in Melbourne, Vicki moved from interstate to protect her son from an over friendly uncle.  She was a great manager and fitted out her new home from Kmart and op shops.  More than an occasional food voucher, Vicki’s need was for reassurance.  On one winter visit Vicki was huddled in blankets trying to keep warm because the gas had been cut off.  With one call from SVDP it was restored pronto!

Max was from Eastern Europe, was deeply depressed and sat in gloom.  We itched to open the curtains and windows, and left feeling the visit had been so inadequate.

That’s when I am trusting the Holy Spirit is working overtime to help us find the right words.

All donations to our Christmas Appeal are gratefully appreciated.  To donate to the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal,  you may like to take a tag from the Advent Giving Tree or download the Appeal Donation form, complete and follow the lodgement instructions or to learn more about the works of St Vincent de Paul visit Vinnies.

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) via the Parish Office.

Once again, we thank our fellow parishioners for their prayers and generous support for our work throughout the year.


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Andy Cullinan

Capturing the essence of Vinnies so eloquently thanks Elizabeth.

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Very well written, Elizabeth. Thanks so much for your ongoing dedication.

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Chris Sartori

Beautiful Elizabeth. Thank you.

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