Students at St Joseph’s Merewether help the homeless of Newcastle

A number of students from St Joseph’s Primary School, Merewether who attend the Kids Connect Australia (KCA) Before School Care decided they wanted to do something to help those - living in the Newcastle area - who are less fortunate than themselves.

After discussing different options, the students decided to raise money to help fund the purchase of new street swags which would provide those in need with a more comfortable sleeping option.

The students made different arts and crafts which they sold for 50 cents each while KCA staff made coffee for parents in the morning. Each cup of coffee was sold for a gold coin donation and KCA pledged to match every dollar raised by the students.

The students raised enough money to fund the purchase of two brand new swags each of which cost $99. These swags were provided by Street Swags to local business Soul Café to be distributed to those in need.

With over 100,000 people homeless on any given night in Australia, the Street Swags organisation provides swags to those most vulnerable in the community and gives them the opportunity to get a good night’s sleep.

During the school holidays, the students were given the opportunity to see exactly what their fundraising efforts had achieved.

Matt Nichols, Chaplain and Floor Manager at Soul Café, spent the morning with students at St Joseph’s showing them what a street swag looks like and how it works.

The street swags are a compact, lightweight and waterproof version of the traditional Australian swag. The swags are made of a canvas that is mildew resistant and breathable and contains a high-density foam mattress that gives the user comfort when having to sleep on hard dirt or concrete surfaces, while also providing an extra bag for people to store their belongings.

“Our St Joseph’s School Vision statement is Through Jesus Christ we Learn, Love and Live the Truth,” said Peter Treloar, Principal at St Joseph’s.

“I am proud of our students who attend Kids Connect Australia Outside of School Hours Care (OSHC), as they live their faith through action. They are clearly demonstrating faith in action at school and at OSHC through these social justice initiatives.

“I would like to thank the students and Kids Connect Australia and encourage them to continue living their faith.”