St Norbert and Seaton College support poor and mental health for Christmas

27 Jan 2022

By The Record

  • Seaton Catholic College donated hampers for the SVDP Christmas appeal in December 2021. Photo: Supplied.

Just days after school was declared “out for summer’’ staff and a group of students at St Norbert College returned to spread some Christmas cheer to the nearby Emmaus community residence for people living with mental illness.

Having achieved a record number of donations in its annual Christmas appeal this year, the staff and students wrapped and delivered 72 hampers for families and individuals in need.

The College has long supplied the Emmaus community in Queens Park, and members of its own school community, with food and gifts at Christmas but this year received so many donations from families at the school community it was able to donate extra items to St Vincent De Paul too.

“Our Christmas Appeal is one of my favourite times on the College calendar and it brings a tear to my eye to see the effort that our families put into helping those around us during the Christmas season,’’ said St Norbert’s Student Ministry Appeal Co-ordinator Margaret Kyd.

Brother Al Archer is the founder of Emmaus Community. In December 2021, he received 72 hampers from St Norbert College for Emmaus residents, living with mental health. Photo: Supplied.

“The generosity of our whole community during our Christmas appeal this year was outstanding. We had by far the largest number of donations in memory – enabling us to create 72 hampers for families and individuals in the community who are in need. We were also able to donate several non-perishable items to the Queens Park St Vincent de Paul Society.

“The best thing about the appeal is showing the students all of our donations and it is fair to say that they just get so excited by the amount of donations collected.’’

On Tuesday, 14 December, staff also cooked a curry meal for all the Emmaus residents before delivering the tailored hampers addressed to each resident and some of their children.

“One of the highlights in the last week of school for staff is when we pack and deliver hampers for the Emmaus community. It is such a wonderful positive experience that really helps to prepare our hearts and minds for Christmas,’’ Ms Kyd said.

  • Catholic School Staff and students who gave up their time during the holidays to pack and deliver hampers to Emmaus Community and St Vincent de Paul Society in Queens Park. Photo: Supplied.

Meanwhile, Seton Catholic College practised their annual tradition with each student from Years 7 to 11 contributing the St Vinnies Christmas Hampers. Our students are very generous and it’s wonderful to see so many over 60 flowing baskets once again this year.

Staff also contribute money to go specifically towards purchasing Christmas Hams to accompany the hampers.

 “The St Vinnies Christmas Hampers initiative helps our students to truly understand the meaning of Christmas, to think about other people in our community and the importance of serving others,” said Campus Leader Kate Raphael.

“This initiative is run by our students, with our Year 11 Ministry leaders taking time out of their holiday break to come back to school and pack each hamper with care. It is wonderful to see our students putting their faith into action through this act of service.”