Vinnies Victoria to launch Winter Appeal

The St Vincent de Paul Society has said that it has assisted 600,000 Victorians in the past year, and it hopes to raise $600,000 in its Winter Appeal in order to maintain its service to the state's needy.

This year, the appeal is being dubbed 'The Unseen Poor', in recognition of the fact that Vinnies' 8,000 members and volunteers see people struggling and desperate on a daily basis, yet many are hidden from the public.

Winter brings an extra burden to the struggle of the 'unseen' poor, Vinnies Victoria said in a statement released yesterday.

St Vinnies not only assists with material aid and support but also helps the voices of the poor to be heard by advocating on their behalf.

State President Syd Tutton explained: "Walking alongside people and respecting them as individuals is essential to help lift their fragile spirits as they take their first steps back on the road to recovery.

"Our work assists people in their homes, empathising with their struggle as they try to cope with circumstances beyond their control; treating them with care and compassion so they are able to walk with dignity in their community."

Last year over $5 million was raised from the sale of donated goods in St Vinnies shops and from financial donations, in Victoria, which was used to assist people in need.

Noel O'Brien, a long time St Vincent de Paul supporter will launch this year's Winter Appeal at 6.30pm tomorrow evening, at St Francis' Pastoral Centre, preceding the Society's annual Ozanam Lecture.

He said: "I am always happy to support the Society not only because of the good work it does but also because I know that in every dollar I donate, 90 cents goes directly to the disadvantaged. I encourage you to contribute to this year's Winter Appeal."

This year's Ozanam Lecture - which commences at 7:30 pm - is being deliviered by Moira Kelly AO, who heads the Children First Foundation. Inspired by Mother Teresa, Ms Kelly has spent the past 20 years working to rescue and assist the recovery of children orphaned, maimed or traumatised by war, neglect, abuse, poverty or political turmoil, especially in Asia and Europe.

The Unseen Poor - Winter Appeal: Target: $600,000 (St Vincent de Paul Society 24/5/05)

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

Children's advocate to deliver Vinnies' Ozanam Lecture
Sydney Lord Mayor launches Vinnies' winter appeal (CathNews 18/5/05)

25 May 2005