Vinnies News Weekly

May Week 05

Monday 26th May 2014

A special thank you from the SVdP Kingsland Centre

2104 Jan -April pic foodabnk

Their has been notable increase in families and individuals seeking assistance from the Kingsland St Vincent de Paul food bank in comparison to 2013. This speaks of the struggle many still endure on a day to day reality. We wish and pray for a different reality for these people and gratefully we also acknowledge that every little bit you give counts. Thank you for being the difference. 

A special thank you to

  •  St Patrick’s Cathedral and St Benedict’s leaders and parishioners
  • Catholic Secondary  schools
  • Those who performed and supported in the Journey of Stars Fundraiser concert
  • Catholic Caring Foundation
  • SVdP Auckland Area councils
  • Vinnies volunteers
  •  Individual benefactors and donors
  • Members of the public

May God Bless You

Delphina Soti 

Operations Manager /Kingsland SVdP Centre


Tuesday 27th May 2014

Carmel College – Theme: Vulnerability

After a very productive  term one focusing in their theme of Poverty and Food Insecurity, the young women of Carmel College this term are ready to move on to their next theme for this term which is  Vulnerability. Throughout the last term Carmel College was a hub of activity as they coordinated their mammoth Easter Egg Appeal for the residents of  De Paul House.  (An emergency housing facility that provides temporary accommodation and advocacy for vulnerable families amongst many other services.) In addition to this they organised a clothing Appeal to donate to Te Waipuna Puawai  shoppes to help raise funds for the myriad of services and programme provided for young mothers and their children . This programme was initiated by the Mercy sisters. The Society of St vincent de Paul is very proud of the work this group of Vinnies does as they seek to genuinely connect and assist those seeking support in a most practical way .


Vinnies workshop : Students trying to work out the profile of a person using the contents of the bag.

Carmel College 

Service Project : Clothing  collection for Te Waipuna Puawai

Just as the Vinnies youth team were heading out after their visit to Carmel College to run a workshop on Vulnerability. They came across the collection of clothing the students had gathered for the Mercy ‘Changes’ Shoppes that raises funds for the Te Waipuna Puawai . For the last two weeks the students have been collecting this clothing. These clothes have been donated by students from across all year levels and the drive is set to continue for the weeks ahead. What  an awesome effort Carmel College. Ka pai.

Carmel Vinnies with some of the mammoth clothing collection for Te Waipuna Puawai

Sacred Heart College –  Theme: Homelessness

Service Project : Preparing Meals and connecting with people.

Tonight the gentleman from Sacred Heart College helped serve up a fantastic lasagne for residents in emergency housing centers! The meal was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Shout out to the wonderful chef Glynn who holds the fort several nights a week and cooks up a storm and also the hostel staff  who always hold us all in it. Those present also had an opportunity to sit and connect with the residents. Well done Sacred Heart College Vinnies. We look forward to seeing you all again on Thursday evening.



St Patrick’s Cathedral –

Service Project :  Funding Hot meals for families and those who are homeless

It was so awesome to see everyone enjoy the hot yummy chopsuey and rice tonight at the City Mission.Thank you especially to the leaders, staff and parishioners of St Patrick’s Cathedral for your ongoing monetary support that enables our volunteers to cook these 200 hot nutritious meals each week for those who are homeless in Auckland city.

Vegetable and chicken chop suey prepared by volunteers to service to around 200 people.


Wednesday 28th May 2014

Marist College – Theme : Poverty – Lack of resources and Food Insecurity

Service Project : Clothing and Food Appeal

The Society of St Vincent de Paul would like to thank the young women of Marist College for their generous donations of clothing, shoes, household goods and non perishable food items. These items will go a long way to assisting families, especially as the cold winter closes in. The Society of St Vincent de Paul wishes to thank the students and staff of Marist College for their compassion and generosity .

Marist Vinnies pictured with their teachers Susan Brebner,(far right) Karen Pinto and Kingsland Vinnies staff Lavrenti (far left)
Packing up the big collection of close to 2000 items destined for families seeking assistance


Rosmini College – Theme : Homelessness

Activity : Attended Workshop on Homelessness facilitated by the Vinnies Youth Team

An energetic group of  Rosmini College students all gathered at lunch break to take part  in the  Vinnies youth team workshop on Homelessness.  Rosmini College Vinnies will spend the remainder of this term unpacking the theme and finding different ways to try and make a change within their community. 

The energetic groups of Rosmini lads that took part in the Vinnies workshop on Homelessness

 Thursday 29th May 2014

St Peter’s College – Theme: Homelessness

Activity: Attend a talk on Homelessnes  facilitated by Vinnies Youth Team

As the theme of ‘Homelessness’ continues to be unpacked, the Vinnies of St Peter’s College are becoming more and more immersed in the reality faced by many in our community. Today these young men were gifted with a testimony from an individual who has experienced this reality first hand.

One student commented “It makes us even more grateful and understanding of the things we have…”

The youth team and St Peters students listen on intently as Lavrenti shares about his life on the streets as a person who was homeless for 26 years


Sacred Heart College – Theme : Homelessness

Service Activity: Prepare meals and connect with residents of Emergency Housing Centre

Tonight the  Vinnies of Sacred Heart College spent some time learning, listening, and ultimately putting their faith into action through the service of others. Being with these young men tonight and seeing them engage with the residents was a testament to the special character of their school as well as the families in which they come from. We are proud to have solid young people who care for the needs of others.

Sacred heart students serving up dinner
Roast and Vegetables


 Friday 30th May 2014 

Tertiary Young Adult Vinnies  – Theme: Vulnerability

With “Team Chop Suey ” there is never a dull moment

This evening a  of young adults gave up their Friday to help out at James Liston Hostel. the group were notified earlier by the staff of the Emergency Centre that they were short of personnel and did not have someone to cook for the evening dinner. The young adults took up the challenge and offered to cook up the entire meal for around for around 40 people.  It was wonderful to see this crew of young food enthusiasts muck in to meet the 5:30pm dinner deadline. They were able to complete the task spare a few minutes and cooked enough food for the next day. The staff and residents were very grateful to this team of young especially for the banter and laughter they brought.


Big brooms are better!
Waiting for the 5:30pm signal to start servery.
You missed a spot Martin.


Saturday 31st May

Young Adult Vinnies

Another great 7 hour day at the Mission today! ! Thank God we had 2 shifts of Tertiary Vinnies volunteers rostered on. After being told that no food had come in for lunch for the 150+ people we were expecting, the Vinnies raided the Kingsland foodbank and whipped up an amazing creamy garlic and meat vegetable pasta!! 

Dinner also proved a mission cooking up another 150+ servings of food and a massive hot fruit custard dessert..but the team did it!!! Everyone was raving about the amazing dinner tonight.
Thank you  Marist College and Liston College for the supplies from your can drives, they came in handy today.


Vinnies News Weekly

May Week 04

Tuesday  Marist College – Theme : Food Insecurity

Today we addressed the theme of Food Insecurity with around 60 Marist Vinnies. Each group of around 4-6 Marist students were given a budget sheet to fill out. Half of the groups were given an income $530 and asked to budget the expenses for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 teenagers) who were renting a 2 bedroom flat for $370 per week. 10259356_667781093290637_8123692434023969475_n

The second half were asked to draw up a budget for a solo mother of 2 children who received $490 per week and paid $370 rent. The students found it quite difficult to stretch the money to cover all expenses pre-listed on the budget sheet. According to their draft budgets  many of the families had to go without purchasing shoes and clothes, some groups resorted to spending only  $50 on food for  four people. In some draft budgets, there was no money for birthdays and special occasions, others chose to not put money aside for doctors visits. Whilst others chose to attend public schools others opted tobuy second hand clothing and near expired food. Some students even opted to walk as opposed to taking public transport. This activity was designed to get students connected to the reality of many of the  families who try to make ends meet. 10169332_667780989957314_744412265151267376_n

Marist College Launch term -long food Drive

The Vinnies staff were really moved by the compassion shown by Marist College Vinnies today. The students had rallied around during the week and mobilised the students to bring in items to donate the Vinnies foodbank for families that sought food assistance.  Thank you Marist College Vinnies!  Image   10405606_667758189959594_9076089871647033245_n


St Peter’s College –Theme: Homelessness

The prayer did not end at the Mt Eden summit at their Homeless weekend retreat, the Vinnies of St Peters College continued on into the week  with their service work at an emergency housing center in Auckland that caters for people coming off the street seeking accommodation and support. The students for the rest of the term will be serving meals and  getting to know the residents. The retreat was helpful for the students as it allowed them to unpack some of the stereotypical views they had about homelessness as well as have an in depth look at the  reality faced by those living in the different forms of homelessness.

St Peter’s Vinnies preparing and serving meals at an emergency housing facility.


Vinnies Kingsland Centre Staff – Theme: Food Insecurity

Do we ever stop to consider the nutrition of our homeless people, let alone the families that live below the poverty line? Fruit, vegetables and quality meat are very expensive these days. The only option for many of  these people is bread and low quality highly processed foods. The Kingsland Vinnies centre staff, through the generosity of faithful donors, have committed their time to cooking over 200 nutritious hot meals every week for those who are homeless in Auckland city and also to purchasing bulk vegetables and meat for food parcels for families who come into the Kingland Vinnies Centre seeking food assistance. Pic below: Large pots of  nutritious meat and vegetable casserole, vegetable fried rice and steamed rice for all the people who go to the City Mission for dinner. The Society of St Vincent de Paul in Kingsland wish to thank the James Liston staff for the use of their cooking facilities and also a big THANK YOU to St Patricks and St Benedicts parishes for their weekly monetary and food donations. 10372036_667811826620897_8268945661669327052_n


Wednesday Young Adults Ignite 2014 team training in preparation for the Sancta Maria College Vinnies Leaders Retreat

A  training session was held to upskill and prepare the  Ignite- 2014 team for the upcoming Sancta Maria College Vinnies leaders retreat for  around fifty  Year 12  and Year 13 Vinnies leaders.  Sancta Maria to date has over 250 Vinnies in their group.  The youth team are really looking forward to working with meeting up with the crew and seeing what they bring to the table. The Ignite 2104 team are a group of around 20 university student Vinnies (ex- School Vinnies leaders) who commit their time to assist with the delivery of the Vinnies Secondary Schools programme. They have bi-monthly formation training sessions and assist the Vinnies staff specifically in delivering retreats in schools and also with the delivery of sessions during the weekly school visits. 10290697_668194016582678_7020351397848138885_n


Baradene College : Theme- Homelessness

The Leaders of Baradene Vinnies are very grateful for the support and commitment of the group, who have taken things to a whole new level this year. By targeting various needs of the community, they hope to deepen their knowledge of what goes on around them. In particular, the Vinnies of Baradene College will be incorporating the theme of Homelessness in their service works. Today they were presented with a video which spoke a lot on the definition, causes and types of “Homelessness”. These young women now look towards connecting in with this reality throughout the remainder of this term. Well done girls! 1911132_623492871052793_414834913_o

Young Adult Vinnies : Project at the Auckland City Mission

The Auckland City Mission held another training session for the Tertiary Vinnies to induct new volunteers who wished to be part of the Vinnies service project. The participants learnt about  the causes of homelessness and the types of people who come into the Auckland City Mission assistance. The Vinnies were grateful for the training session as it prepared them for what to expect working in the City Mission in the weekends preparing and serving hot drinks and meals to around 150 people. It was great to see such a passionate group of young adults who were so willing to serve in their community. Thank you to Helen Robinson for facilitating the training. The Society are grateful for these young people and look forward to seeing how this project will unfold.

Young adult Vinnies during Auckland City Mission training


Young Adults Vinnies host Tertiary Young Adults Mass at St Peter ‘s Cathedral

We Are One Body draft (1)

The Young Adult Vinnies of Auckland University as well as various parishes around Auckland will be hosting the Auckland Tertiary Mass at the St Peter’s Cathedral on the Sunday 8th June @ 7pm. This Mass will be celebrated by the Auckland Tertiary Chaplain Fr Bernie Thomas. Young people and Vinnies members form the universities, parishes and Catholic Secondary schools will be taking part in organising this Mass.  All are welcome to attend.


Thursday  St Peter’s College- Theme: Homelessness

Thank you to the Vinnies of St Peters College for taking the time to be with the residents of James Liston Hostel tonight and for applying their learnings from their recent retreat on Homelessness. These young men had the odds stacked against them as their was no cook on site. Th worked up a sweat as they rushed around  making coleslaw, frying up hot chips, cooking sausages, cutting and buttering bread, peeling potatoes, scrubbing pots, serving meals and then prepping food for the next dinner service. Amidst all the chaos these young men still found time to do the most important thing which was to sit down amd have dinner with the residents and  spend time listening to their stories. These young men took up the challenge and exceeded in holding down the fort without the hostel cook . . 10406502_668827236519356_3655661665489841783_n (1)

Friday Liston College -Theme: Poverty – Food Insecurity

It was so amazing to receive around 800 cans of food from Liston College this morning. Today they celebrated their Annual School  Mass with the Bishop at St Patricks Cathedral. True to their Vinnies theme for the term : ‘Food Insecurity’ they have really worked hard to coordinate this collection to correlate with their annual mass. These young men earlier this year participated in a Vinnies workshop on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and from that workshop shaped their project of collecting food donations for families.
Liston 1
Liston College leaders and students with their food collection at the St Patrick’s Cathedral
These cans will be distributed across food banks in Auckland that are desperately needing a top up . A big thank  mas thank you goes out to the students and staff of Liston College. These cans really will make a difference for the families coming in seeking assistance.

liston loading vanliston 3     St


Paul’s Parish Young Adults Group Theme – Vulnerability

This evening we met with the St Pauls Parish young adult Vinnies. At the beginning of the meeting a question was put to them. They were asked why they joined Vinnies. It was very moving and inspiring to hear of their stories and why they came to be a part of Vinnies. There sense of call, their humanity, their compassion and longing for justice and community was communicated beautifully and with much conviction.

st pauls 1
Speaking of how they must help those who are less fortunate as it is not right for these people to go without.

We are so proud of this group and the spirit in which they work in support of those on need. We really look forward to working alongside this awesome group of young leaders as they tackle their theme of ‘Vulnerability’ this term. May God bless you all.

st pauls 2
Del Soti facilitating the feedback on the ‘Bag of stories’ activity.
Vinnies News Weekly

May Week 03


Sacred Heart College : Theme -Vulnerability ( At Risk Youth)

The Marist Learning Center is an alternative education school that provides education and other vital opportunities for vulnerable young people in the Northern Auckland region who cannot attend mainstream education for numerous reasons. Thank you to Shane Coleman the director of the school and his staff for the wonderful work they do. We are also especially grateful to the young men from Sacred Heart College Vinnies who volunteered their time to help out with maintenance work onsite.


Sacred Heart College past and present leaders mucking in at the Marist Learning Centre



McAuley High School : Theme -Vulnerability (Elderly people in Isolation)

As the term ahead unfolds, it has been great connecting in with the Vinnies leaders of McAuley High School. The group will be incorporating the theme of ‘Vulnerability’. At this meeting with the leaders and staff of McAuley High School the possibility of exciting the local Rest Home was discussed. They hope that through their visist they will be able to connect with the residents and offer any services that may be requested. The leaders were quite excited at the prospect of visiting the rest home.

Vinnies staff meeting with Mr John Bower, Mrs Thompson and Vinnies student leaders to discuss the the programme.


De La Salle College – Theme:  Vulnerability ( Refugees and Asylum seekers)

The Vinnies of De La Salle are looking forward to yet another great term. This term the Vinnies of De La Salle will be working on their theme of ‘ Vulnerability’. For the past few years De La Salle has worked closely with the Mangere Refugee Centre. Once a week a staff member and a groups of students visit the Refugee Centre and spend time with the young people onsite. They recall it as being an real eye opener, hearing the stories of people who have sought refuge from their original places of residence. When the tudents visit the centre , they spend time in interactive activities either playing sports, having a sing -along or simply hanging out. 


De la Salle Vinnies leaders pictured with Denis Tutaka Campus Minister and Vinnies staff
St Mary’s College – Theme : Homelessness
There was a sense of excitement as as these young women arrived at James Liston Hostel tonight. Throughout Term one the students of St Mary’s College spent several hours after school on their rostered days volunteering in meal preparation, cleaning, providing entertainment and spending time with the residents.
On this particular night they were asked by the residents of James Liston Hostel to come back one last time. At dinner time the residents asked the girls to be seated and proceeded to serve the students their meals.The young women were further thanked for the service, the music and gifts they gave in term one.The students were taken by surprise by the residents act of love and were really moved.
Towards the end of the night It was lovely sight to have both students and residents totally relaxed in each other’s company laughing and sharing a meal together… no longer strangers to one another but members of one family.
Thank you all. “Give. Love. Care. Serve.” – St Mary’s College 2014
St Marys students volunteering at James Liston hostel


Klapa Samoana : Mother’s Day Concert.

We wish to congratulate the amazing crew of Klapa Samoana and the talented line up of their recent Mothers Day Concert… The soul and talent was outta this world. Klapa are a talented group of university students who are affiliated with the Vinnies youth programme and assist in providing music in the prisons, @ Vinnies Masses and have travelled  in the past year to deliver music workshops for schools in our partner countries in the Pacific.




Auckland Secondary Schools Executive Council (AVSSC) elect their officers for 2014.

Tonight Vinnies executives leaders from 13 different Catholic Secondary Schools gathered at Liston Hall (next to St Patrick’s Cathedral) for the monthly AVSSC meeting. The highlight of this meeting was the election of the officers who would lead the AVSS Council throughout the year.

Congratulations to our newly elected officers for the Vinnies Secondary Schools Council.
Chairperson: Samm-Sara Laite Lillian Baradene College , Vice Chairperson: Fuatino Heath St Mary’s College,  Secretary: Mose Christopher Taupo De La Salle College, Treasurer : Phillipa Tulilo-Siilata Marist College, Social Rep: Eleanor Matalaoa Barlow Carmel College.

At these meetings the leaders discuss their work in the schools and it is also a time for the Vinnies staff to hold formation training in support of the Vinnies projects they are leading their Vinnies school groups in. At tonight’s meeting all the returns for the current projects was collated and a session on the ‘Service themes’ for the year was re-visited . The Vinnies staff also ran a formation training session on “Discerning how to serve others.”

Thank you to all the school leaders and the University Ignite-14 leaders who assisted with tonight’s Executives Council Meeting. God Bless.

Members of the Ignite 2014 assisting in counting the votes for the AVSSC elections



St Peter’s College host an overnight Homeless Retreat 

The young men of St Peter’s College will be taking part in an overnight retreat to connect with the reality faced by those who sleep it rough. This retreat was facilitated by both the 1-14 crew and School Vinnies leaders. Each individual assisted in building a shelter made of whatever materials they could find.

Throughout the night the students then took part in activities to unpack the definition of homelessness. Other areas of learning included some of the causes and types of homelessness. Before they headed to their make shift shelters to sleep, they closed the night with a beautiful liturgy of the washing of the hands. Sleeping throughout the night proved hard for some of the boys as the cold winter chill set in. This did not stop the students from seeing the night through. At the crack of dawn, the Vinnies staff led the students up to the summit of  Mt Eden to pray and reflect as they watched the sun rise. The Vinnies stayed until the sun rose before closing off the retreat and descending down back to the school to have a hot breakfast prepared by the staff and pack up to go home.

Building cardboard shelters
The washing of the hands liturgy
St Peters Homeless Retreat participants



The St Peter’s College homeless retreat finished with a beautiful prayer at the summit of Mt Eden. Each student  was given an opportunity to reflect on all that had taken place throughout the retreat and say what they were thankful for. Many were thankful for what they had and what they took for granted each day.

St Peter’s Vinnies at sunrise on the summit of Mt Eden
Vinnies News Weekly

May Week 02


Tertiaty Young Adult Vinnies Group- Theme: Vulnerability (Easter gifts for Women’s Refuge)

In preparation for the happy weekend ahead, these young men and women are putting together Mother’s Day cards for those in refugee centers… much respect for the love and creativity that went into making them! Ka Pai Tertiary Vinnies.Image.


The journey continues as the Young Adult Vinnies group put together gifts of chocolate to add to the cards for Mothers Day this weekend.




St Dominic’s College -Theme: Food Insecurity

A big thank you to the staff , the leaders and students of St Dominics College for your generous donations of canned goods. The students worked hard throughout the term to raise awareness about food insecurity and rallied around to get students to bring in donations o non-perishable goods.  As the winter season approaches, this awesome contribution of food will go a long way in supporting families coming in to the Vinnies centres seeking assistance.

Bruce Drysdale pictured with Sam and the van load of goods.


Ignite 2014 Team attend a professional development retreat.

Our Ignite ’14 team from Vinnies spent the weekend on a retreat. Over the course of two days, these young men and women took part in Myers Briggs training, and many other activities to take each individual out of their comfort zone.


Vinnies News Weekly

May Week 01

Parish Vinnies – Setting up a new Vinnies group.

The youth of St Mary’s Parish in Papakura  are  looking into starting up a Vinnies youth group in their parish. The Vinnies staff were asked to go out to their parish to meet with them. When they arrived they were greeted by a lovely group of  and enthusiastic  young people. Over the next few weeks they will be meeting to discuss what  needs to be done to set up a Vinnies group and also find out more about the needs in their community.

Gene with members of the St Mary’s Papakura youth.