The Young Vinnies Annual Fun Day Out for 50 primary school children was held on Saturday 1 September at the College. Children of diverse ethnicity and socio-economic groups were treated to a day of fun and activities. They came from organisations such as St Vincent De Paul Migrant/Refugee Group, Edmund Rice Centre, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren’s Group, Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees (CARAD) and Roseworth Primary School. Some of these children in their short lives have endured abandonment, homelessness and fleeing war torn countries.

Our 53 Year 11 and 12 students who acted as buddies were caring and kind to the little ones. Some commented that they now appreciate the difficulties of parenthood.

Nine Year 10 students ran the activities all day and 14 lower school students attended the morning session assisting with cooking, serving food and playing games. During the day, 30 staff members also gave of their time supervising and facilitating activities. The Young Vinnies Group fundraised during the year to finance the day.

During the morning session, the children played games in the Sister Margaret McInerney Centre with their buddies and photos were taken of each child and buddy. After a morning tea of fruit, cupcakes, juice and chocolate milk the children decorated photo frames made of card containing two photos taken during the day with their buddy.

The group had a barbecue lunch and then played games on the oval, had turns on the bouncy castle, and a disco. They also had face and rock painting activities. Ice creams, chips and drinks were welcomed for afternoon tea.

Once parents and carers arrived to collect the children, each family was presented with a large laundry basket filled with groceries and household goods which were collected during our school-wide appeal. In total 33 baskets were distributed which would not have been possible without the generosity of our College families. Thanks are due to the McCullagh family who donated the fruit and vegetables for the day.

The parents/grandparents were overwhelmed by the generosity of our College community and were grateful to have had a Saturday to themselves.

As the tired and very happy children and students left at the end of the day, it was heart-warming to see the interaction and friendship that had developed between the children and our Year 11 and 12 students.

Thanks to the students and staff who gave of their time on a weekend to bring happiness to others. This day demonstrates the heart, compassion and generosity of the College Community.

CARAD passed on the individual thanks of one of the parents who said her daughter "really loved it and had lots of fun. She also got a really big basket of goodies. Thank you from the bttom of our hearts."

Rossana Hywood and Michelle Moreton
Young Vinnies Coordinators