Carpark Catholicism: A boot-load of relief

11 Jun 2020

By Eric Leslie Martin

The team from the Rotary Club of Elizabeth Quay Knights of the Southern Cross Cathedral Branch 28 on Saturday 16 May. Photo: Supplied.

By Eric Martin

The Knights of the Southern Cross Cathedral Branch 28, in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Elizabeth Quay, have heroically led the charge to restock St Vincent De Paul’s “Vinnies food hamper supply” – a supply that has been drastically depleted responding to the Australian bushfires and the local impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Its recent COVID-19 Food Appeal received 3200kg worth of food donations from generous benefactors, helping Vinnies to make and distribute an estimated 177 food hampers to people in need this winter.

The COVID-19 Food Appeal received food donations from the community totalling 3200kgs. Photo: Supplied.

Tristan Kolay, Branch 28’s Project Director, highlighted passion of Branch 28 Knights members to serve the Archdiocese and the community.

“It has also been a visible opportunity to show that Catholics are people of good heart.

“Our members are motivated by putting their faith into action and partnering with Rotary to help provide this service was a great opportunity. We’re also thankful to the Mayor of Vincent who understood our mission and enabled us to host this event in Leederville.”

“We are both volunteers and a service organisation of young professionals united in this mission, supporting the community in this time of need; building on member networks and connections, we seek to engage the community in projects of interest, where a clear need is identified and where our resources will have most impact,” he explained.

The donations raised on the day will help Vinnies to make and distribute an estimated 177 food hampers to people in need. Photo: Supplied.

At dawn on Saturday 16 May, the young professionals of Branch 28 and the Elizabeth Quay branch of the Rotary Club were out in force in the Loftus Recreation Centre Leederville carpark, collecting non-perishable food items for its “COVID Food Appeal”.

The boot-appeal made the process easy and ensured that attendees were able to adhere to the social distancing laws throughout the day.

Volunteers followed health and hygiene guidelines to reduce the risks associated with COVID-19; donors were asked to drive into the carpark to have their donation carefully extracted from their car boot and placed into the waiting Vinnies’ truck.

In preparation for the COVID Food Appeal, Branch 28 engaged a number of local businesses and schools to build community support and participation, with the call to action heroically answered by Simon Says and Jus Burgers, Oxford Yard Leederville, Sayers Food, Tutti Frutti Leederville, and the Foam Coffee Bar (among others).

“Particular thanks goes to the generous families at Emmanuel Catholic CollegeSt Joseph’s Primary School Queens Park, and many other amazing donors,” Mr Kolay said.

Given the success of the food-drive, even in the midst of a pandemic, Branch 28 intends to make it an annual event.