Vinnies Winter Appeal 2024

‘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.’  Blessed Frédéric Ozanam founded the St Vincent de Paul Society

A staggering 1,600 people are being forced into homelessness every single month in Australia. [i]  The most vulnerable people in our communities have been affected by the spiralling cost of living in the last few years.  The lack of affordable housing and increased demand for rental properties are forcing more people into homelessness.  Meeting basic needs such as food, water and a place to sleep can be the most important daily priority for people experiencing homelessness.  It is your compassion and support that makes the work of St Vincent de Paul possible.  Financial donations play a critical role in sustaining the Society.  Donations to the Winter Appeal may be made by using the QR codes below.

Our parish conferences have had a long history with providing support to those in need and continue to do so.  As St Vincent De Paul Society celebrates 170 years in Victoria, we take time to reflect on our parish conferences who have supported the community for many years.

This week we hear from one of our Conference members as she reflects on her journey to becoming a Vinnies Volunteer.

Sixty years ago our family went for Sunday drives. Other than church and visiting Nana there wasn’t much else to do on Sundays! Parents and five kids sandwiched into a mushroom coloured FB Holden and set off for Trentham for a sack of potatoes or Bacchus Marsh for a crate of apples.

Exit from Melbourne was through Royal Park and always there were sad faced men drifting under the trees. Mum and Dad said something like “ Those poor chaps! Say a prayer for them. They’re waiting to get into Ozanam House.” That was my introduction to St Vincent de Paul.

When I asked to join, no one even responded because initially it was only an organisation for Catholic men. Times thankfully changed and for over thirty years I have been a proud member of three conferences. If I had to move, the first thing I would do is join another conference.

However much our Church has changed, the parable of the Good Samaritan remains inspirational . People phone Vinnies trusting we will help. In pairs we offer people the dignity of visiting them in their homes so we can see first-hand their needs. Although a small number are not particularly likeable, most people are a joy to meet. Some are seemingly never satisfied, most are grateful. Some places are messy, most are clean and tidy. Many people have health issues and hospital becomes a revolving door for them. Many are isolated from family: there’s been a falling out, or ostracism after a prison sentence, others are geographically distanced. Most seem lonely and conversation is as important or more important than a food voucher. Although it is a big challenge not to judge, it is always a privilege to visit.

Our Parish has a strong, active and friendly team within our Conference which welcomes newcomers. Members are forever esteemed and at funerals farewelled with a guard of honour. How special is that!

At Winter Appeal time we seek three things: funding, new members and always prayer.

Our Conferences are always looking for new members to assist in our work.  If you are interested in joining or finding out more about the work, please contact the Conference President(s) – details can be obtained from the Parish Office.

Volunteer E


Donations may be made direct to your applicable Parish Conference by visiting their donation page using the link or QR code below.

Camberwell Conference

Deepdene Balwyn Conference

Surrey Hills Wattle Park Conference



Annual Appeals


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