Despite a challenging year due to COVID, the community of St Patrick’s Sutherland spread a pandemic of kindness, bringing joy and dignity to families in need.
Lockdown, remote learning and the pressures of the virus left their mark and created an even deeper concern for vulnerable residents of the neighbourhood served by the local Sutherland St Vincent de Paul Conference.
So the local primary and secondary school joined forces with the parish to put Catholic Social Teaching into action with a practical approach to outreach.
Now in its 8th year, the Family2Family Christmas appeal was launched, requesting gift cards for those in need.
Taking the COVID climate into account, the volunteers expected a “quieter response than usual” but were overwhelmed, raising more than $16,000 enabling them to bring some much needed Christmas cheer to 66 families.
St Vincent de Paul Society member Mouna Roche said they were completely blow away by the community’s generosity.
“Throughout 2021, the COVID 19 pandemic has continued to test and challenge people across the globe and the community of St Patrick’s Sutherland was no exception,” she said.
“We really were prepared for a quieter than usual response and when we gathered to package up the cards into gift bags we couldn’t believe the generosity of our community!
“The gift cards amounted to around $16,325, creating a brighter Christmas for 66 families in the local area.
“We are so grateful to everyone who supported the appeal and enabled us to help those in the community doing it tough.”