Lumen Christi College students and staff recently participated in the College's annual Vinnies Winter Sleep Out to raise funds for and awareness of homelessness.
On Friday, 13 September, 45 students from Years 9-12 participated in the College's third annual Vinnies Winter Sleep Out. With nothing more than a sleeping bag and the clothes they were wearing, students spent the night sleeping on and in cardboard boxes outside the College's Junior Transition Centre. All phones and other luxuries are handed in on registration.
During the Sleep Out, students listened to guest speakers from HOPE, a local organisation who provide much needed support to people affected by alcohol and other drugs, mental ill-health, youth justice issues and socioeconomic disadvantage. Students also played games which highlighted the many issues that youth and others less fortunate than themselves feel in society. Soup and bread rolls which were kindly donated by College staff, were the only foods available for the evening.
Students were all asked to bring donations of blankets and winter clothing, and students were all sponsored by family and College staff to participate in the Sleep Out. In total, over $600 was raised for the St Vincent de Paul Vinnies Winter Appeal, as well as a large number of food items, clothing and blankets donations.
“This year was my third time doing the sleep-out at Lumen. As always, it was an incredible and eye-opening experience which served as an opportunity to educate the students and raise awareness on the true nature of homelessness within our society. Throughout the night, I was made aware of the main causes of homelessness and the different factors that make people more susceptible to being homeless. I also learned about the different ways in which we can help those who are homeless and really make a difference. To me, the Sleep Out is a chance to learn about and give a voice to homeless people, who are often unfairly silenced. It also provides a chance for us, the Lumen community, to come together and help those who are truly in need within our community” - Tashinga Chitiyo, Year 12 student and 2019 Mission & Service Captain.
“The Sleep Out was a great experience that taught me about the harsh reality of homeless people and the devastating situations that they go through every day” - Sara Woldemichael, Year 12 student
"Through students experiencing what it is like for someone to be homeless for a night and not have the same luxuries that they take for granted on a daily basis, I feel we are helping to deliver a very important message. The students gain a far greater awareness of the whole aspect of homelessness. Not just how many people are homeless, but the causes of it, why people may find themselves without a permanent address, and also the trials of what some face on the street – staying safe, finding food and shelter. The other aspect is encouraging our students to have the knowledge of how to help others and continuing service – in whatever area they choose - into their adulthood" – Pennie Stewart, Christian Service Coordinator
To donate to the Vinnies Winter Appeal, click here.