Vincent aims for the heights to help homeless

09 Apr 2015

By Jamie O'Brien

10-year-old Whitford Catholic Primary student Vincent Pettinchino's plan to help the homless is in it's third year and he aims to collect enough essential items to make 500 packs. PHOTO: Jamie O'Brien
10-year-old Whitford Catholic Primary student Vincent Pettinchino’s plan to help the homless is in it’s third year and he aims to collect enough essential items to make 500 packs. PHOTO: Jamie O’Brien

A simple plan to help the homeless of Perth that was successfully devised by a 10-year-old Whitford Catholic Primary School student is once again under way for the third year in a row.

The plan, which includes providing packs containing toiletries and necessary items, was developed in 2013 after then-Year 3 student, Vincent Pettinchio, was moved with compassion to help the homeless survive life on the streets.

The first time the project started in 2013, Vincent aimed to put together 100 packs, with the final figure at 185, and, in 2014, he aimed for 300, with the final figure close to 350.

In 2015, Vincent is aiming to make 500 packs.

The packs are distributed to the homeless by charity organisations such as (Archdiocese of Perth agency) The Shopfront and St Vincent De Paul Society.

The eldest of four children, Vincent is like any other boy his age and loves sports – especially soccer.

Vincent says inspiration for the project came after one day walking through the city with his grandparents, and seeing countless numbers of homeless people.

“There were four people that I saw that I have not been able to forget,” says Vincent.

“These people were all homeless for different reasons,” he said. Vincent went on to say that, while at the time he did not understand how or why people were homeless, he simply wants do what he can to help.

“People could be sick and don’t know how or where to get help,” he said.

“Some people have to leave home because of bad situations. Others may have lost their jobs and their things and have no money to pay for a place to stay.”

Vincent went on to say that he believes it doesn’t matter what the reason is, the homeless need help – whether it’s food, a place to stay, warm clothes or someone to talk to.

“They need to know someone cares.

“Mum said we don’t know how lucky we are to have family and friends that care about us and we have everything we need to keep us safe, warm and happy even if we don’t get everything we want.”

Each pack is valued at about $40, and monetary donations are also being accepted.

With the money donated last year, Vincent was able to make sure that all packs were identical, with many items purchased in bulk, saving money and allowing more packs to be made.

And to add to their supply, this year Target Whitford have offered Vincent five per cent discount off all bulk purchases.

Donated items can be dropped off at Our Lady of the Mission Catholic Parish until the last week of May 2015 between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday.

For more information, contact 0408 350 332, email or visit the Facebook page at