St Patrick's Mini Vinnies Winter Sleepout

Last Friday evening, the members of the Mini Vinnies team from St Patrick's Primary School, Swansea, rallied together to promote an incredible cause, the St Vincent De Paul Winter Appeal. 

The aim of the evening was to raise awareness of those in our local area who are homeless and suffering and to raise much needed funds to assist the St Vincent De Paul Society to care for these people.

On a cold winter’s night, children and parishioners came together and found a space to “bunk out” for a while, with a piece of cardboard and a blanket as bedding.

We gathered together in prayer and focused on the feast of Pentecost, when the disciples were huddled together and we asked the Holy Spirit to be with us as we embarked on this mission. The journey that the students experienced humbled me, they have such an incredible sense of justice and compassion.

“I thought that I should just take a small sample of those people who live with this every day. The more I think about it, the worse I feel for them, but the better I feel that I’m helping the most I can,” Mikayla, Year 6 Mini Vinnies member.

Our beds were uncomfortable but the students and parishioners did their best to be respectful and humble. Some students even went without their cardboard or their blanket for a while, just to experience what it was like.

We ate soup for dinner, then undertook a service activity in which we created some affirmations which Mrs Hales displayed among the trees in the playground, then we prayed together again, listening to a message from the President of the St Patrick’s Chapter of the St Vincent De Paul Society.

“The prayers, the audio visual, the meal, the activities . . . I can assure you all that your collection of money will be put to good use by the St Patrick's Conference, to help the homeless, the marginalised and the hungry. I am in awe of you all," Brian Halligan, President of St Vincent De Paul Society.

Not only was this a very humbling experience, but we managed to raise more than $2000, which for a small school this is incredible.

These children are our future, they are compassionate and loving, they are the Pentecostal message, the Holy Spirit lives on and I am so glad to be a part of this journey with them.

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