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St Finbarr’s students can’t turn a blind eye

St Finbarr's students with Blind Eye Ministries volunteers

Changing homelessness: Students from St Finbarr’s School, Ashgrove, handed donated toiletries to Blind Eye Ministries co-ordinator Roby Curtis (front right), and volunteers Lachie McPherson, Trevor Pop Rendell and Anastasia Dillon whose lives have been changed because of the Catholic ministry.

TAKING a daily shower means more to Year 6 students at St Finbarr’s Catholic Primary School, Ashgrove, Claudia Nina and Zoe Goss after they visited a South Brisbane drop-in centre for the homeless.

A trip to the Blind Eye Ministries drop-in centre, visited by 10 to 35 homeless people a day, showed the two school social justice members they couldn’t turn a blind eye to homelessness.

The students compiled a Scripture book as part of a school program called Kids in Action and proceeds from sales went towards essential items such as body wash, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

They handed these items to Blind Eye Ministries co-ordinator Roby Curtis last Monday.

Claudia and Zoe were among 14 St Finbarr’s students who heard from volunteers and patrons at the drop-in centre about what Brisbane’s homeless needed, including access to free laundry services, showers and clean clothes.

“I feel grateful for what I’ve got,” Claudia said.

“You don’t know that all these things are going on around the world until you actually go somewhere and experience it.”

Zoe said the school’s social justice group gave her a greater awareness of society’s most vulnerable.

“I didn’t really know before I joined the social justice group that all this stuff was happening,” she said.

“I think there should be more social justice groups because so many people go through school blind.”

St Finbarr’s teacher and Kids in Action co-ordinator Luke Thomsen said the school’s social justice program showed the connection between faith and outreach.

He said the visit to the drop-in centre was the highlight for many children who, although from “fairly privileged” families, “all unanimously have a heart to reach out and to care for those who are vulnerable”.

“You can see in a child the natural desire to care and to give to people,” Mr Thomsen said.

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