Vinnies News Weekly

November Week 02


The Year 9 students proudly displaying their food-boxes with Dr Wilda Leux and (Centre) SVdP South Auckland  President Tonia Greatbatch

‘Lifelong learners in a connected world’ is one of the goals that teachers in the 21st century are working towards to develop. At Sancta Maria College, two Year 9 classes have had the opportunity to experience a project that perfectly fitted this cliché. Under the supervision and guidance of Dr Laux, teacher of General Science and Biology, the two classes embarked on a project they didn’t imagine would automatically allow them to work alongside and within their community. Their aim was to design, develop and produce food parcels to be donated to family in needs as part of the St Vincent de Paul food appeal programme. Each parcel had to meet the energy requirements for an average size family. Recipes were designed meticulously using knowledge the students gained during their Food and digestion unit. They were asked to plan for the food collection in the community or to organize fundraising events to be able to buy the non-perishable items. The whole project created partnerships between whanau, local businesses and the local community. Students used their personal, interpersonal and critical skills to cope with the stress of meeting deadlines, demands from the stakeholders, and instructions from their teacher! At the end, they all did it! With a big smile of their face, they stand proud, knowing that they have made a difference to many people out there!

President Tonia Greatbatch of South Auckland SVDP addressed the group and thanked them for this most generous inspirational act of love and commitment. There was a special acknowledgement of Dr Wilda Leux the wonderful teacher who instigated and coordinated it all.


Today the Kingsland Centre Team and the Vinnies Youth Volunteers from Tertiary Vinnies launched their Operation Christmas Giving. Over the next few weeks they will be putting together hundreds of Christmas Food boxes and packs, Care packs, Treat bags and gifts. According to Del Soti the Kingsland Centre Operation Manager their database of families and individuals that have sought assistance from their food bank has consistently grown. The networks of vulnerable communities they support have also increased.


Vinnies staff and volunteers prepacking hundreds of Christmas Food Boxes for families.

” We have had to start fundraising from the beginning of the year so that we have sufficient money to bulk buy in the food and toiletries and we have also chosen to begin packing earlier to ensure that we are not overwhelmed during the month of December as their are a few Community events that the Youth team have to run this year.

Youth restocking the foodbank shelves. 
Bulk Care Packs bags filled with Toiletries and sanitary items and also treats to be distributed to those in refuges, those who rough sleep and also for street workers.

A message was put out on facebook to ask for Vinnies volunteers from the University of Auckland and the response has been really positive with up eight volunteers each day coming through at different times to help out. Fellow youth groups and Community groups have also offered assistance through picking up bulk goods and packaging them at their centres with their own people.

The Marist Logos Project Staff and Volunteers packing bulk  Christmas Care-Packs at their centre for the residents of an Auckland Caravan Park that houses over 300 people.

If you wish to make a monetary contribution to our Kingsland Operation Christmas Giving please email  or make a donation to:                                          Society of St Vincent de Paul Ak  /ASB Account 12-3017-0500224-00 Reference Christmas.  We provide receipts at your request.


Today a special lunch was held to thank and honour the volunteers of the Kingsland Vinnies Centre for their service throughout the year. It was such an enjoyable gathering where everyone was given the opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the work of 2016. Vincentian Peter Courtney said a few words of thanks on behalf of the East Area Council and then presented all the volunteers with certificates and a small gift to show their appreciation.

The Volunteers of the SVdP Kingsland Centre volunteers and Staff pictured at their recent Thanksgiving lunch at the Sky City Fortuna Restaurant
Vincentian Peter Courtney congratulation Patrick (volunteer) and presenting him with a certificate and gift.
Vinnies News Weekly



The Auckland Vinnies Youth team led a combined team of youth leaders from the Marist Logos Project and also JustSpeak ,(a group that advocates for  change in the criminal justice system) during a Card Making Session at the  Kohuora Serco Men’s Prison in Wiri. This session was held in the visitors waiting area for all the families who were visiting their loved ones in prison.

(Left to Right) Youth worker Daniel Pavihi from the Logos Project demonstrating how to put together the cards to some the visitors. (Some images are blurred to protect the identity of individual)

This programme was initiated in 2015 by Auckland Vinnies Youth manager Del Soti and Bernadette Pereira the Community Reintegration Manager for Kohuora Prison. They saw a need for a programme that provided a positive socialisation experience for the men, an opportunity for them to create something pecial for their loved ones and also a creative way  to get into the spirit of Advent.

A young girl writing a special message to her dad who she will be visiting shortly.

This year the programme was extended to the families of the residents of the Prison. Pereira saw the need for an activity that allowed the families especially the children to engage in a fun activity onsite, as the waiting period and also the atmosphere could be quite daunting for the children, given the long periods of  waiting  whilst the officers processed their paperwork and went through  all the madatory security checks. Pereira felt that there needed to be an fun and uplifting activity to fill this space. Del Soti saw this as an oppurtunity to promote the different services of  Society of St Vincent de Paul to the families.

Youth leaders Cecilia (Vinnies Youth)  and Magdalena (Logos Project)  getting the card stations ready before the next visitors arrive.

One of the leaders shared, “…I met a two mothers today who asked about what we do and how could they get help with food etc ..It gave me an opportunity to give them some contact numbers and also take their postal addresses to send free tickets to an upcoming  children’s show. It was hard to hear how about their realities and how isolated they were. I was slightly comforted by the fact that I had given them a contact number and also a food bag to take with them”.

Two parents proudly display their cards they have made for their son they are about to visit.

“We arrived at 9am and ran three sessions until 4pm… It was a long day but well worth it. We worked with over fifty families and it was this poignant and amazing experience…As we worked on the cards, some people just really opened up we got to listen to their stories.”

The second lot of visitors arrive and the leaders introduce themselves and invite them to make cards. 

“The children were particularly delightful , they were so in to it and so determined to make the best cards to take into their dads and granddads and for some their uncles”

“We noticed how lovely the atmosphere became as the day went on, the soft background music, the banter and the chatter and squeals of the little ones was delightful”

As each family left they were each family was given large Christmas food packs full of chocolate, chips and many other treats. There were so many smiles and heart felt thanks relayed to the team. Over the next few weeks more youth volunteers will roster on to offer these sessions right up till Christmas.

The Team (Front Left to Right)  Magdalena Webb, Lave Otutaha, Joy, Cecilia Lautua, Grace Gordon. (Back Row) Gene Paul Kiely, Lucia Tavite and Daniel Pavihi. Photo taken by Del Soti
Vinnies News Weekly

November Week 01

Today these wonderful Vinnies gathered for the last time this year to reflect and celebrate their journey for 2016. Peter Irving accompanied the SVdP National Vice President Kevin Mulcahy who thanked the group and presented Service awards to all the Carmel Vinnies .
It has been a fulfilling journey for these students as they worked throughout the year volunteering for DE Paul house, gathering food and bulk clothing to support Te Waipuna Puawai amongst many other service projects. In addition to this they have taken part on many Awareness Workshops where they have been challenged about their views on Society.


The Society of St Vincent Vincent Paul is very proud of this group and all they have achieved. The Society also wishes to acknowledge  Mrs Pervan and her wonderful leadership and support of the Vinnies programme.

c (L to R) Mrs Pervan, Vinnies Leaders Valencia and Nairy with National Vice President Kevin Mulcahy.

A member of the National Board of Society of St Vincent de Paul NZ travelled to Samoa to present Samoan Vincentian Alfred Adams with Vincentian Cross for his faithful volunteering for over 40 years as the treasurer for the Samoa Society. Through his years of service he has helped multitudes and multitudes of people who have sought support and advocacy. Congratulations dear Alfred Adams and may God Bless you always.

Alfred Adams & President Peter Bedenelli


In thanksgiving for all these young men of St Peter’s College who have done in service to their fellow brother and sister, the Youth Team passed on a token of appreciation in the form of certificates. These awards acknowledge the countless hours spent in projects. We also Thank the amazing teachers, Mark Neville & Janie-Rose
for consistently supporting the SPC Vinnies group and for taking the time out to make sure they reach their full potential in the work of service.


For all that they have and continue to contribute to the lives of others, we extend our utmost gratitude. Thankyou SPC, keep up the great work, as said today, “it’s the contribution of small acts of mercy and service that make the big difference”.