Vinnies News Weekly

June Week 02

Friday 13th June 2014

Sancta Maria College – Theme: “Homelessness”

It was great to have the young women and men of Sancta Maria College come out tonight all the way from Botany and Howick to serve up dinner for those in emergency housing center. Although it was their first time visiting, the way they connected with the residents was a true testament to their compassion and positive attitude towards upholding the dignity of others. Well done Sancta Maria College.  A special thank you also to the wonderful staff of  Sancta Maria Ben Gorman for organising the students to come out. 

Students of Sancta Maria College prepare to serve meal to residents
The students  during their debrief with the  one of the James Liston team leaders .
The students during their debrief with the one of the James Liston team leaders .

Upcoming Advocacy Training Event.


The Edmund Rice Collective are hosting a training event. Advocacy in Aotearoa is a chance to get connected with others that want to make a positive difference for marginalised peoples and our planet.
Learn from active and respected organisations, both young and old, to hear inspiring stories of hope and to learn some practical skills along the way. Advocacy in Aotearoa is not aligned with any political party and is open to dialogue from any perspective.

Keynote Speakers include:

Phil Glendenning is an international advocate on Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples and on behalf of the Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Australia.

Sue Bradford has spent her entire life advocating for those caught in cycles of poverty from both inside and outside the walls of government.

Workshops include:

Janfrie Wakim and Mike O’Brien from the Child Poverty Action Group NZ (CPAG) will be sharing the story of CPAG and what they have learned in 20 years of advocating for the children of New Zealand.

Mike O’Brien is an Associate Professor at the School of Counselling, Human Services and Social Work at the University of Auckland and has previously been the Head of the School of Social and Cultural Studies at Massey University.

And many more. Click this link for more information

Hosted by the Edmund Rice Network, we are committed to being ‘Present, Compassionate and Liberating’ in all that we do. It is our privilege to bring together such an amazing group of people.

Society of St Vincent de Paul Kingsland Center 

Supporting families.

Thank you for the food and monetary support you give to Vinnies everyweek to help families. It really makes a difference.
Around 30 families were assisted from Vinnies Kingsland centre this week with bulk food parcels and warm bedding and clothing because of you. Thank you for your generosity.
Thank you also to the volunteers that faithfully turn up each week to serve customers and attend to families coming through for help.


Janet Swan, one of our fabulous Vinnies volunteers!

St Paul’s College – Theme: “Vulnerability”

“Service through creating connection and breaking down stereotypes” – It was such a blessing to see the St Paul’s Vinnies in action today especially as they welcomed the many new junior members to their group. As part of the theme “Vulnerability”, each St Paul’s team leader facilitated a session to discuss with the students the many stereotypes that we place on those who are “vulnerable” and how this marginalizes people and does not uphold ones dignity .Great to see these fine young leaders in the zone.

Student Leaders facilitate discussion around the theme of “Vulnerability”


Thursday 12th June 2014

Sacred Heart College – Theme: “Homelessness”

Many  thanks to the Sacred Heart College Vinnies for their time tonight in the cold winter weather to give to those at the JLH Emergency Housing in Auckland City. It is always a humbling experience to be in the presence of these young men in service of the residents and bringing warmth through connection, lending a helping hand and sharing their love and personalities. 

Sacred Heart College students washing up


Student prepares a scrumptious load of garlic bread

Sancta Maria College – Theme: “Homelessness”

Today the Vinnies Youth team visited the  Sancta Maria College Vinnies group. They spent the lunch break with around 60 students unpacking the theme of “Homelessness”. The Sancta Maria group will be taking what they have learnt and shaping projects to address this theme as this term unfolds. These young men and women are currently running a school wide appeal to  collect blankets and warm clothing for the winter season. All the donations collected will be distributed to the South Auckland and Central Auckland SVdP groups to allocate to families needing this support. In addition to this, senior studetns will be rostered to help out at the JLH emergency housing facility to prepare and serve meals.

Vinnies Youth Team leader Sam Mano facilitates the  session on”Homelessness”
Director of Religious Studies Ben groman  with Sancta Maria College Vinnies Leaders

Wednesday 11th June 2014

Marist College – Theme: “Poverty”

The SVdP staff were overwhelmed and moved by the generosity of the Marist College students as they rolled out their can drives. The impact they have made on families through the provision of non- perishable foods and clothing is considerable. These students have committed to collecting food and clothing for the term. So far they have collected well over 4,000 items. These items have been re-distributed to the different SVdP group throughout Auckland to assist their work with families.

Marist College Vinnies presenting their gifts of food and clothing


Mrs Susan Brebner (left) and Ms Karen Pinto (Right) pictured  with Marist College students following the packing of food and clothing into the van

Tuesday 10th June 2014

Sacred Heart College – Theme: “Homelessness”

Since the beginning of this term, the Vinnies of Sacred Heart College have been regularly visiting an emergency housing center in Auckland. It has been an insightful and rewarding experience for all. Seeking to connect with others they faithfully come straight from school and start helping to prepare the meal. Person to person contact is central to the charism of the Society of St Vincent de Paul. It is the belief of the Society that poverty can be eradicated when people build genuine caring relationships with one another.
We are grateful to these students for their brotherhood and service tonight.

Sacred Heart College students serve up chicken and coconut rice to residents of emergency housing

Monday 9th June

Marist College -Theme:  Poverty 

Marist College Students pack non perishable items, ready for pick up

On Monday the Vinnies team got called out urgently to Marist College to pick up a vanload of food. For the last few weeks these young Marist women have been on a big mission to provide food for families..We hear they even donned capes and ran around the school promoting their food drive . So far they have collected close to 4,000 items of food to go towards families feeling pinch of winter and also the struggle to make ends meet.


 Sunday 8th June –

Kingsland Centre Volunteers- Working with Refugees

Vinnies working alongside families seeking refuge in New Zealand


Every year people seek asylum and refuge here in NZ. One of our staff spent the day with one of these families..Here is an account of his day (not real names used)
Saturday 9th June 9am-1pm
Today I took Jay’s family out to Piha for the day. This family came from a land locked country. They had never seen salt water or sand. Watching Jay’s experiencing new sensations was pure joy. He particularly wanted to stand in the sea. One of the highlights was when his mother joined him in the shallows for a photo and was struck by a wave that left them knee deep in the water shoes socks, jeans and all. The look on their faces was priceless! I could not by laugh at their surprise.
We spent the next 3 hours at Piha walking, talking and collecting shells. When the boys spotted the freshwater stream and Gerry tasted the water whilst I snuck up on the both of them and introduced them to water fights. For the next half hour the entire family and I were chasing each other about the beach in fits of laughter. At the moment I thought to I often the take the most simplest things for granted.
At the mothers request I took them shopping at St Lukes mall where we had lunch. After lunch I left them to wander whilst I jetted down to the camera place to get one of the photos printed and framed as a momento of their day. I framed the photo that I felt was the highlight of their day. When I gave to the mother she was very moved and grateful.I had planned to take them to other sights like One Tree Hill but could tell they were feeling pretty tired so we drove out to Mission Bay. They were fascinated by the difference of this beach in comparison to Piha. Having come from a landloacked country, they asked if we could drive to Rangitoto or Waiheke. I spent time explaining the concept of islands not being connected to land mass.
Our day ended with my dropping them off to their temple…What a day …what a gift of a day…one of my favorite little bits during the day was when little Gerry asked if he could call me ‘uncle’ ..I was quite honoured.


Vinnies Young Adults host Tertiary Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral on the night of Pentecost.

The theme of tonight’s Mass was ‘We are one body”. It was a beautiful Mass, consisting of a wonderful homily and a poignant reading from James K Baxter. Around 1000 people gatheredfrom across Auckland came together to share in the Eucharist.  It was moving to see everyone together. We are most grateful to everyone who contributed to making this mass the beautiful celebration it was.

Vinnies from across Auckland share in the Eucharist

2 thoughts on “June Week 02”

  1. Hello everyone! What an inspiring newsletter! Even more inspiring are all you Vinnies giving your time, energy, hard work, love and money to help others. You are awesome. May God bless you, each one. Lots of love from Jude in Wellington

    1. Thank you is so affirming and uplifting to hear this from you ..someone who has given significantly in the service of others and is held in great esteem by many because of your leadership and compassion

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