Living our gospel values

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Students from St Luke’s School, Wantirna preparing meals for vulnerable families.26 August 2019

The Mini Vinnies team at St Luke’s School, Wantirna, has received a Leader Local Grant to help them continue to support families.

Giving up their own time, the Mini Vinnies have been working during lunchtimes and after school for the last 12 months to prepare meals for vulnerable families. Parents also bring their expertise to the group with a focus on families helping families.

‘Parents and grandparents have been incredibly supportive because they see the students enacting the values we believe in’, said the school’s Religious Education Leader Julienne Rankine. ‘It’s a powerful way to start conversations about empathy, as well as making positive change in the lives of people who are disadvantaged. We’re a community that promotes inclusion.’

One of the parents, Melissa, agrees. ‘It’s important because it gets the students involved in the community. It helps them develop compassion for others and learn to share what they have’, she said.

The students are aware of the difference they’re making. ‘Mini Vinnies is important because I love to help people and everyone deserves to be happy’, said Chloe. ‘If we didn’t have Mini Vinnies, some people wouldn’t have food’, said Abby.

The $1,000 grant will be spent on ingredients to make soups and pasta meals for distribution throughout the community. The school has also made blankets and prepared toiletry kits for the homeless. The school’s Mini Vinnies team also supports the work of the parish’s St Vincent de Paul group in many initiatives to make a difference to people in need.

‘This work isn’t about us’, said Julienne, ‘but it’s what we do to help others’.