St Vincent de Paul Society launches ‘critical’ 2022 Winter Appeal.

The St Vincent de Paul Society has launched its 2022 Winter Appeal; described by Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Les Baxter, as its most ‘critical’ fundraising activity in many years. Vinnies’ 2022 Winter Appeal aims to raise at least $250,000 to meet the expected demand for its services over the Tasmanian winter.

“The St Vincent de Paul Society experienced unprecedented demand for its services over the past two years due to COVID-19. Just when we thought we would see a return to normal levels of service, the cost of living crisis hit. This has plunged already desperate families into more financial stress and a sense of bewilderment about their future. Vinnies always receives more requests for food and assistance to pay heating bills during winter. However, we anticipate demand will be higher this year due to cost of living stress,” Dr Baxter said.

“While we are blessed with many things in Tasmania, our winters can be cold and cruel. Some of the things most of us take for granted – being able to feed the family or pay our electricity bill – can be very stressful for many Tasmanians in need. It is incredibly sad and concerning that many Tasmanians have to decide between eating and heating due to cost of living increases.

“Rent, fuel prices, groceries, and the cost of energy such as gas and electricity are all rising beyond the reach of many people who are already trapped in poverty. Over the past few months, even people in work are finding it difficult to make ends meet and are calling on Vinnies’ services for the first time in their lives.

“The fall-out is more Tasmanian families and individuals will need Vinnies’ services. As the months get colder, the Society will distribute more food vouchers, assist with power bills, help balance household budgets, supply warm clothing for children, and arrange emergency accommodation.

“Sadly, this type of stress within the family unit adds to increased incidents of domestic violence and depression, which can lead to the breakdown of marriages and relationships, and anxiety in children. This just adds to the overall problem. It is a downward spiral of distress and dilemma from which many families and individuals never recover.

“On the streets of our towns and cities, Vinnies’ Vans and Vinnies’ Loui’s Vans bring hope, hot meals, and a warming cup of coffee or soup to, literally, thousands of people every year. Demand is always higher in the winter months, which is why Vinnies’ Winter Appeal is so important. The food the vans distribute on our cold winter nights, is often destined for a school lunch the next day; and the blankets and clothes distributed from Vinnies Vans and Loui’s Vans make the difference between keeping warm to keep illness at bay and shivering throughout the night.

“These situations almost pale into insignificance when you consider the number of individuals and families who need a safe, warm place to call home. If they can find a place to live, often the rent is so high it leaves little or nothing for food, utility bills, or medicine. Saving for a rainy day is a luxury, so when their car breaks down, or when an emergency occurs, they resort to pay-day lenders, who charge exorbitant interest rates that engulf people in a cycle of debt from which it is difficult to escape.

“Vinnies’ Winter Appeal is our most critical to date and we are hoping that the generosity of Tasmanians in the past is repeated this year. Vinnies’ Winter Appeal is hoping to raise $250,000, which is the minimum amount of funding we need to get us through this winter. Every dollar donated will assist Tasmanian families and individuals in real need. Every donation, large or small, will make a real difference,” Dr Baxter said.

To donate to Vinnies’ 2022 Winter Appeal, please call 13 18 12 or visit vinniestas.org.au/donate.

MEDIA NOTES: The St Vincent de Paul Society was founded in Paris, France in 1833 by a 20-year old Italian student, Frederic Ozanam. Today, the Society operates in 153 countries and has over 800,000 members. Australia has over 60,000 members, dedicated to assisting people in need and combating social injustice. The Society started in Tasmania in 1899 when founders established a Conference in Launceston. From humble beginnings, the Society has grown to 25 Conferences within three Regional Councils across Tasmania. Each Conference undertake a variety of good works, the most recognised being the traditional Vincentian home visits and the annual CEO Sleep-out to draw attention to homelessness.

Media contact, Mark Wells: +61 414 015 966 (24-hours)
© St Vincent de Paul Society and MWPA.

Tags: News