St Vincent De Paul is run by volunteer staff with a core of VCE students. They attend the annual conference and run a number of fundraising activities throughout the year. One of the main efforts is for the Poor Person’s Mass which is held each year near the feast of the Sacred Heart. It is a great sight at the offertory to see food and clothing presented to form a mountain each side of the altar. Brigidine Day is also another mammoth task with the girls offering a banquet auction of picnic baskets. In groups of six to eight the students can bid for a table and have a feast served by the St Vincent De Paul girls, and the expert home economics teachers. They also get waited upon and serenaded by staff during the three course extravaganza.
Several years ago the Justice and Democracy Group serviced Joey’s Van which operates from St. Joseph’s parish centre. The van provides food, soup, tea and coffee for the homeless and disadvantaged of Dandenong. Girls used to package and prepare food for the van on a Friday night before it went out. After a while our help was not needed but this year we have renewed our relationship. Now girls are going with a teacher and the Joey’s van team to Dandenong, on a Monday night and they are actually serving the food. It is a wonderful experience and very humbling. There is a great need in the area and each night they serve over seventy people. At the moment we are providing help a couple of times a term with the possibility of greater involvement in future. Rosanna Rinnovasi and the team at St. Joseph’s do a magnificent job and we thank them for the opportunity.