ROSIES’ ability to help the homeless in Ipswich has been boosted thanks to the generosity of St Mary’s School.
The school community raised more than $1500 for the volunteer charity that helps feed people living on the streets of Ipswich.
The Student Social Justice Group worked together to organise the fundraising, with Rosies – Friends on the Street as the charity they wanted to support.
Teacher Craig Sologinkin, who works as a volunteer with Rosies, invited Ipswich co-ordinator Barry Rienecker to speak to the students in Years 4-6 about the work of the Rosies volunteers and how they helped the homeless.
Following a short presentation and a question-and-answer session, students Frankie Kennett and Liam Wallis, on behalf of the school, presented Mr Rienecker with the cheque for $1515 and surprised him by donating 400 cups of instant noodles collected by the students in Years 4-6.
The students then had the opportunity to check out the Rosies van that takes the volunteers to the streets, and ate a biscuit and drank a cordial, similar to what was given out during the summer months.
Mr Sologinkin said what the charity was doing to help the homeless and those on the fringes of society tied in well with what the Year 6 students were learning in religious education in regard to Catholic organisations in Australia.
“It was as much about the kids also talking with their parents and family about homelessness,” he said. “My hope is we can break down some of the stigma we hold towards the homeless, teach our kids compassion and generosity, and hopefully attract a few extra volunteers for our local Rosies outreach.”
Mr Rienecker said the funds would help the local arm of Rosies continue to work with homeless people in the Ipswich area.
He said the donation would go towards providing tea, coffee and snacks for the homeless.
“This money will help us to continue to provide that service,” he said.
“It is fantastic to see this school drove it – we get a lot of senior groups help us out – but to see a school involved is fantastic.”
Mr Rienecker, who started the Ipswich branch of Rosies in 2012, said he regularly saw more than 30 people per night.
“There is real demand for this service; I feel it is only a small proportion of those who actually need help,” he said.
Liam and Frankie said they were so proud of the efforts of their fellow students to raise such a huge amount of money.
They said it was great to be involved in a project that helped Rosies.
Liam said Rosies and the volunteers did a great job helping the homeless, feeding them and having conversations with them.
Frankie said she hoped the money would help buy more noodles and tea and pay for petrol so Rosies can continue doing the good work they were doing for the homeless.