Wrapped in Kindness: Students unite to help Melbourne’s needy

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Photography credit: Hayden Short

In a strong show of generosity, Caulfield Grammar students volunteered their time on the Easter school holidays to lend a helping hand at this year’s Wrapped in Kindness campaign.

Now in its second year, the collaborative project inspired by St Vincent’s Foundation offers warmth and comfort to vulnerable groups within the community, especially during  the colder months and when demand for help is growing.

“Wrapped in Kindness is about bringing the community together to provide a heartfelt gift to those who need it most,” says Lyn Amy, CEO of St Vincent’s Foundation.

Over $750,000 worth of donated goods, including long pants, socks, mittens and toiletries were received from local and national businesses.

The students helped fill over 2000 care packages  with essential winter items, along with positive handwritten messages that were added to each bag to lift the spirits of recipients. 

The care packages are being distributed by St Vincent’s staff to patients who are experiencing chronic disadvantage.

Items donated will also help to support local charity groups including Igniting Change, Melbourne City Mission, St Vincent de Paul, Rotary and Children’s Ground – a not-for-profit organisation that offers support to Indigenous families in Victoria and Alice Springs.

“The Care Packs are being put to good use in the St Vincent’s Care Centre.  They give our clients dignity and raise their self-esteem, as well as provide them with useful items which they are in desperate need of,” says Judy Clover, Manager of Volunteer Services at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.

Heartfelt support

Alessia, a Year 11 student at Caulfield Grammar, was quick to put her hand up to be part of this year’s packing day .

“My most significant memory from helping at this event last year came a couple of weeks later when I saw someone wearing the clothes that we had packed into the bags,” Alessia recalls. “It’s one thing to see the bags head off to the charities, but it’s another to see them in the hands of the people that needed them.”

St Vincent’s Emergency Department was one of several areas to benefit from this initiative. Staff praised the show of compassion, which provided them with much-needed items such as tracksuits, t-shirts, socks and underwear to give patients whose clothes had to be cut to provide emergency treatment.

It meant they could ensure these patients, who were suffering chronic disadvantage and often didn’t have access to a change of clothes, now had a clean set of clothing to wear when leaving the hospital.