The Gift of Goodness

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Visiting St Columba’s Primary School in Leichhardt, Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady spoke with students and staff in preparation for CatholicCare’s Gift of Goodness campaign, which is starting early to help during the COVID-19 crisis.

Established throughout Sydney Catholic Schools in Terms 3 and 4, it is held  to encourage charitable giving, something Bishop Brady is passionate about.

“It’s part of the whole Christian message Jesus was always on about,” he said.

Sydney’s Auxiliary Bishop Terry Brady

“That we had to care for others on the margins and throughout history, there have always been situations that are much worse than what we’re in now.

“We’ve got to keep our eyes open for each other, most importantly, making sure that people don’t fall through the cracks.”

CatholicCare is the social services agency of the Archdiocese of Sydney which, for more than 75 years, has helped Sydney families and individuals with issues around relationships, parenting, ageing, disabilities, addictions and mental health concerns.

It aims to help people to live and thrive at every age, irrespective of beliefs and abilities, a mission Bishop Brady says starts with the young.

“It starts right from when you’re very small that you learn to give,” said the Bishop.

“If you’re lucky enough it starts in your home, in your family and it’s so important.

“If you’re lucky enough it starts in your home, in your family and it’s so important.”

“Students also learn this at school, because children never forget when they’ve learned how to give to others.”

In previous years, the Gift of Goodness campaign has been a beacon of hope in Sydney Schools.

Students from John the Baptist Primary School, Bonnyrigg celebrate the launch of the The Gift of Goodness campaign. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

In 2019, 50 schools and 15,000 students supported the campaign and helped to raise more than $32,000 for vulnerable families, allowing CatholicCare to provide more than 450 fresh food hampers to grateful people in need, a result the organisation hopes to repeat in 2020.

John the Baptist Primary School at Bonnyrigg school captains Eleisha and Rocco are also both excited to be part of the campaign.

“I think it’s important to give to others, because it’s very tough during COVID-19 and a lot of people are struggling because of isolation and they have to stay in their houses,” said Eleisha.

“It’s really good when school kids can take part in Gift of Goodness because they’re raising money for less fortunate people in this tough time.

“I think the ingredients for just being a wonderful and nice person is love, compassion and empathy.”

“I think the ingredients for just being a wonderful and nice person is love, compassion and empathy.”

Rocco said it was very important to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and help those in need.

“Our mission as Catholics is to follow Jesus’ commandment to love one another as I have loved you, and taking part in Gift of Goodness is a great way to participate and follow Jesus in his footsteps,” he said.

“During COVID it has been harder for many people who are going through a hard time right now. There have been shortages of food in the shops, loss of work and a lot of people living without connection to their family.

“We can participate by doing fundraisers, even if it’s just a few dollars which can really help change people’s lives.”

“In giving you receive you receive so much more than you can ever imagine.” PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

To find out how you and your school can get involved with CatholicCare Sydney’s Gift of Goodness campaign, click here