Vinnies News Weekly

June, Week 3


Thank you Pacific Forum Line

For close to a decade now, the  Polynesian Shipping company has continued to support the Society of St Vincent de Paul in sponsoring the cost of freighting donations from New Zealand to their partners in the Pacific. Polynesian Shipping Ltd Chairperson Charlie Westerlund is a renown Samoan Catholic businessman and philanthropist who owns several business enterprises. The Society of St Vincent de Paul is grateful to Mr Westerlund for his generosity. In the last three years Polynesian Shipping was sold to Neptune Pacific Line Limited and they continue to operate in the Pacific.

Today they continue to support the Society’s work.  This week another shipment of fifty crates of clothing and books was sent to Samoa SVdP to support local families and schools. The Society wishes to acknowledge and thank General Manager of Pacific Forum Line Mike Swan and his staff member Suzanna Rawson for their special part in arranging these shipments. They have worked with the Society for the last 5 years and have had a fundamental role in ensuring that the sponsorship of these shipment have continued through the years.

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The wonderful staff of Pacific Forum Line
The Pacific Forum Line Headquarters 82 Richard Pearse Drive, Mangere Auckland


Weekly Bread Donations

Every week, the team at Countdown in Mt Eden have been gracious enough to donate huge bulks of bread to the Kingsland Centers food bank. The bread helps significantly with the food parcels that are given to families who are in dire need, especially during the winter season.

Francis F. Coutinho with the donations for the Kingsland Center


The Amazing Race

This months AVSSC (Auckland Vinnies Secondary School Council) meeting was something out of the ordinary. The youth team had organised an interactive session called “The Amazing Race”. Our Council were sent out to complete various tasks and activities around Queen Street in creative ways and to also give them certain situations which required them to step out of their comfort zone. The purpose of this little activity was to improve their leadership qualities and for them to gain a greater understanding of each other as a council, working together with people who they aren’t usually familiar with.



Vinnies News Weekly

June, Week 2

Learning about our Communities

A large emphasis of the Vinnies Youth Programme is to grow awareness in the Secondary Schools about social issues that face a lot of the people who seek out the services of our Vinnies centres and food-banks. Throughout the year, the various Vinnies groups choose different themes to focus on each term. These themes include Homelessness, Social Exclusion, Prisons, Elderly abuse amongst others and Food Insecurity. The youth team run sessions based on these themes and also support the groups to create compassionate service projects to connect with people and to also try and make a difference. As part of this programme, numerous Vinnies groups from the Secondary Schools in Auckland  volunteer at their local centre. They offer a hand in the foodbanks and shops alongside the volunteers already there. Through these opportunities young people become more connected to the realities that many experience. It also nurtures empathy and a growing understanding of social justice.

Baradene College Vinnies during their Connecting in Session
De La Salle Vinnies after unpacking Social Exclusion
St Peters discussing Social Exclusion



Peer and Leadership Meetings

Over the next couple of weeks, the Vinnies youth team will be rolling out another layer of their youth leadership initiatives. This will involve staff and members of the Vinnies Ignite team (University Vinnies mentors)  having an ‘out of school’ catch up with the leaders. This forum will provide the Secondary School Vinnies leaders a platform to share their leadership journeys and also of other challenges they may be facing. The Staff hope that this platform will provide the sounding board and support that these leaders need. Earlier this week, the Liston College leaders met with Youth Team Memeber Pelasio Iaseto Filo. On the same day, Sancta Maria had met with our Secondary Schools Co-ordinator Gene Paul Kiely for their catch up as well. The feedback was positive and this meeting was well received by the Vinnies student leaders.

Liston College Leaders
Sancta Maria Leaders with Gene Paul Kiely (Left)

McAuley Leaders during their leadership catch up with Ignite member and staff.
Vinnies News Weekly

June, Week 1


A Visit From the South Island

On the 1st of June we received a visit from the Christchurch SVDP Operations Manager Penny Marks and Board Member Clodagh Ward.  They are in the process of mapping out their strategic plan for their Vinnies Youth programme and wanted to connect with the Auckland Vinnies Youth Team. Throughout the day we prayed together, shared about our work and connected in about other aspects of the Society. It was a lovely visit enjoyed by all. They were also able to catch a glimpse of our Vinnies from St Paul’s College and the work they do in the shop.

Penny Marks (Left) and Clodagh Ward (Right) with the Vinnies from St Pauls after helping out at the Kingsland Centre

AUT Students visit SVDP

This week we were privileged to have Sam Verlinden from AUT (Auckland University of Technology) come in to the Kingsland Centre to film around the shop for one of his assignments. Titled “Why Give Back?”, the video discusses how the society helps with the issue of Poverty in Auckland. Although a small snippet of what the society does, it displayed and depicted some of the things that go on within the Society and the involvement everybody has whether it be big or small.

Video linked here below:



Breaking of Daily Bread

As part of the Celebration of 150 Years since the establishment of the Society of St Vincent De Paul in New Zealand, the Kingsland Centre are currently working with Ocean Va Ltd on a new initiative, Daily Bread. Ocean Va Ltd is a faith based Non for Profit founded by the Martin, Fatima, Aniseko and Anne Margaret Leung Wai. The hope of the Daily Bread Programme is to ensure that families seeking food assistance are not only supported with good quality food but are also connected with the people who would pray with them and accompany them in their journey with the hope that parishioners will sponsor and accompany these families throughout the year. Over the next few week Ocean VA will continue their research and draft up a design for this special project. The Society hopes to launch this programme in October.

From Left to Right (Anne Margaret Leung-Wai, Fatima Leung-Wai, Aniseko Leung-Wai, Martin Leung-Wai) taking a break from their research on the food bank at the Kingsland Centre.