Sydney Lord Mayor launches Vinnies' winter appeal

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW/ACT Conference said that yesterday's wintry weather in Sydney provided the perfect setting for the launch of its winter appeal.

ABC Radio reported that Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore joined Vinnies volunteers at Hyde Park in the centre of the city to call for donations of food, blankets and warm clothes for its Vinnie Van service.

The Society's John Pichot said there is an increased demand for the services it offers to homeless people, and the recent Budget tax cuts will not help people on the streets and those struggling to make ends meet.

"Adjustments to the labour market arrangements, particularly through the Job Network, [mean that] those people that fall through the cracks in that process will end up coming to the society for assistance," said Mr Pichot.

Vinnies is running a collection for its Vinnies Van service until tomorrow in Hyde Park. Each year the Vinnies Van serves food, drink, warm clothes and friendship every night to over 60 000 of the most disadvantaged in NSW/ACT. Vinnies Van is inviting the community to come down to the large truck in the park with donations of food with at least a three-week shelf life, new or good quality blankets, sleeping bags, and toiletries.

Similar appeals are being launched around Australia. Last week, the Launceston Examiner reported that Vinnies Northern Tasmania said that every winter there is a large demand from young families, single parents and the elderly for blankets and warm clothing.

Store manager Pat Meyman (pictured left) said the Winter Relief Appeal enables the charity to buy supplies for their food parcels, buy wood and mattresses and help families pay their heating bills.

'Vinnie Vans' call for winter supplies (ABC News 17/5/05)
Clover Moore launches Vinnies Winter Appeal (St Vincent de Paul Society 16/5/05)
Charity heads into its busy season (The Examiner 10/5/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Vincent de Paul Society

Vinnies' Budget plea to Costello to think of poor (CathNews 11/5/05)

Vinnies urges parishioners to mentor students (Vincentian Priests and Brothers 17/5/05)
Sydney's disadvantaged need beanies, food and blankets - not tax cuts (St Vincent de Paul Society 13/5/05)
Vinnies Winter Appeal (St Vincent de Paul Society 13/5/05)

18 May 2005