St Clare’s Catholic Primary School students raise funds to fight homelessness

Helping hands: St Clare's students Charlotte Southern, Mikaela Scott and project leader Simon McCarthy are proud to support the St Vincent de Paul Society. Picture:Kayla Osborne

Helping hands: St Clare's students Charlotte Southern, Mikaela Scott and project leader Simon McCarthy are proud to support the St Vincent de Paul Society. Picture:Kayla Osborne

Three thousand vegetable seedlings will help students at St Clare’s Catholic Primary School fight homelessness.

Students at the Narellan Vale school will grow their own food as part of a fundraising campaign to help local families in financial crisis.

Members of the school’s Mini Vinnies group will sell the seedlings this week to raise funds for the emergency financial assistance work of the Camden St Vincent de Paul Society.

St Clare’s principal Kevin Devine said the campaign encouraged students and their families to learn about growing vegetables while helping people in the Camden district who were struggling to survive.

“The idea of selling seedlings to raise funds came from a group of students who wanted to encourage their fellow students to think practically about caring for our common home, the earth, while thinking about people at risk of losing their homes because of financial crisis,” Mr Devine said.

“Over the past five years, the school’s young St Vincent de Paul Society volunteers who are part of the Mini Vinnies group have raised more than $9000 for local, national and international needs and have worked together to knit dozens of blankets for homeless people.”

St Clare’s student Simon McCarthy, the person in charge of the initiative, said it had been a big success.

“We’ve tried to tie three things together,” he said.

“This is our major fundraiser so we have supported the environment by selling the seeds and with the cake stall we have limited the packaging.

“We are also raising money to fight homelessness through the cake stall and selling the seedlings.”

Simon said the funds raised will help the St Vincent de Paul Society to provide homeless people with care items.

“It will help St Vincent de Paul to provide people with clothes and other things for summer,” he said.

“We have a vegie patch at the school and we sell vegies from there too.”

The seedlings were donated by Peter and Joseph Vella of Leppington Speedy Seedlings and Supplies.

“We were really happy – it was really good of them to donate 3000 seedlings for us,” Simon said.

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