Galen hosts Sandhurst Winter Sleepout for homeless

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Preparing for a night out in the cold: Year 9 Galen student Steph Hester, Bacall Allan (IGA Wangaratta), Skye Hunter (Galen Social Justice Co-ordinator), Stephen Condon (IGA Owner) and Year 9 Galen student Billie Taylor prepare food generously donated by IGA Wangaratta. PHOTO: Mal Webster

Galen Catholic College is very proud to be hosting the Sandhurst Diocese Winter Sleepout tonight, involving 120 students from: St Augustines College Kyabram, St Joseph’s College Echuca, St Mary of the Angels College Nathalia, Notre Dame College Shepparton, Sacred Heart College Yarrawonga and Galen Catholic College Wangaratta.

This annual event held during National Homeless Persons Week, encourages young people to join in solidarity for those less fortunate.

Homeless Persons Week developed as a result of various churches and missions running winter vigils to remember people who had died on the streets. These vigils were normally held in the first week of August as it is the coldest time of the year and when most people were likely to be overcome by the elements.

Tonight, students involved will share a simple meal of soup and bread, and will hear from a number of guest speakers from local agencies who work to support those experiencing homelessness and other youth issues.

Sandhurst schools have been instrumental in gathering blankets and food to donate to St Vincent de Paul, which will be passed onto those who need it most, at this bitterly cold time of the year.

Year 9 Galen students involved in this evenings event, Steph Hester and Billie Taylor both mentioned that they volunteered to gain a perspective on what its like to “be in the shoes of a homeless person.” Students in attendance will also be informed by guest speakers from local agencies who work to support those less fortunate.

Rather than ‘roughing it’ in the comfort of the school stadium, “Tonight we’ll be sleeping outside in designated parts of the school with sleeping bags and cardboard boxes, to get a real understanding of what its like to not have a bed or home of your own” said Steph.

Galen Catholic College would like to say a hearty thank you to IGA Wangaratta Owner, Stephen Condon who generously offered to donate over $500 worth of food for students sleeping out at Galen.