St Vinnies volunteers find $11,520 in clothes

St Vincent de Paul Society volunteers at a charity opportunity shop have found $11,520 inside donated clothing.

The Sunday Mail reports that the Society said the money was handed to police but was not claimed and would kick-start their winter appeal. Volunteers found the money while sorting donated goods several months ago.

Victorian president Jim Grealish said the charity was lucky to find the money.

"As the owner was not found the money has been returned to Vinnies and will be used to assist people in need," he said.

The Society aims to raise $800,000 in their Winter Appeal, which will be launched at one of Australia's largest Catholic festivals, Carnivale Christi, at Melbourne's Cardinal Knox Centre tomorrow night.

Meanwhile in Sydney, NSW Premier Morris Iemma will launch the NSW/ACT Winter Appeal and the Western Sydney "Escape from Poverty" campaign this morning at Parramatta Riverside Theatre.

To mark the launch, escape artist Greg Hudson will attempt to free himself from restraints.

A statement from the Society says that Mr Hudson's performance is to highlight that "unlike Greg, people in crisis need help to escape from poverty."

"Communities can provide this help by giving through Vinnies and adding a little comfort, dignity, and hope this winter," the statement continued.

To support the appeal, the Western Sydney community have been invited to get involved in the "Escape from Poverty" campaign, which includes a fundraising dinner with Labor MP Peter Garrett.

The Society provides warm clothes, blankets, shelter, assistance with rent and electricity payment, and friendship to people struggling to make ends meet.

Op-shop staff find $11,000 in clothes (Sunday Mail/Australian Associated Press 17/5/06)
Premier Iemma and Vinnies help people escape from poverty this winter (St Vincent de Paul Society NSW/ACT 17/5/06)

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

Vinnies sees long-term focus missing from Federal Budget (CathNews 10/5/06)
Vinnies spokesman says welfare to work threatens vulnerable (CathNews 18/4/06)
Vinnies rejects welfare reforms (CathNews 22/11/05)

Ignored - No comfort to the people we see (St Vincent de Paul Society 10/5/06)
Cold Comfort - Escape from Poverty - Winter Appeal 2006 (St Vincent de Paul Society VIC 10/5/06)

18 May 2006