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Perth: Empathy and Support for the Homeless at Sts Constantine and Helene

On Monday the 11th of July, with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia, over 80 children gathered together as the Parish of Sts Constantine and Helene conducted a school holiday activity in support of the homeless in the City of Perth.

Every day in Western Australia, there are over 9000 people who are homeless. Most of the homeless are concentrated around the Perth CBD and surrounding suburbs. One of the most significant organisations that assists the homeless in the city is the Perth Homeless Support Group. This volunteer-based organisation provides food, warm clothing and sanitary facilities to around 300 people every week.

For the second year in a row, the Parish of Sts Constantine and Helene teamed up together with the Perth Homeless Support Group to conduct a winter appeal in order to collect donations and raise money to support the homeless in the city. This winter appeal culminated in the workshop run by the Parish for the children during the school holidays.

The school holiday activity day for the children began with an English Divine Liturgy in the morning, celebrating the feast day of St Euphemia the Great Martyr. Following the Divine Liturgy and morning tea, the children listened to a talk from one of the volunteers from the Perth Homeless Support Group, who described to the children the difficult situation faced by homeless people everyday. The children were encouraged to reflect on how fortunate they were, how difficult it would be to be homeless and the Christian ethos and calling to help those in need. The children were reminded about the words of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Matthew, “Whatever you do unto the least of My brethren, you do unto Me.” (Matthew 25:40)

After the morning talks, the children conducted a number of activities including writing messages of hope and love for the homeless, preparing first-aid packs and packing toiletry and care packs. All of these packs and all of the donated items were then sorted and loaded onto the Perth Homeless Support Group van. The volunteers from the Perth Homeless Support Group marvelled as they had to make two trips with the large van just to fit the huge amount of items collected and donated from the Parish. They thanked the children and the Parish for the incredible donations and presented them with a certificate of appreciation.

The children were then provided with lunch and concluded the day with a brief talk in the Church.

The Parish of Sts Constantine and Helene extends its warmest thanks and appreciation to all the children that attended, the many parents and families that stayed on the day to assist, the many volunteers who helped organise and run the event, St Tabitha’s Central Philoptochos for catering food for the children as well as the many generous donors and business that supported the appeal.

Overall, the School Holiday event was a huge success for all the children, the parents and the Parish. Everyone enjoyed wonderful fellowship and the children spent quality time during their school holidays reflecting on the importance of Christ’s call for Christian philanthropy.

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