John Murphy, an English and Media teacher at Xavier College, takes students to VincentCare’s Ozanam House to volunteer their services on the first Monday of each month.
The initiative to volunteer came from the school's principal who had seen a culture grow around ‘muck up day’ in Australia where students felt they were entitled to some sort of disruption on the day. John says, “the principal felt that students should be doing something positive at the end of year instead of stuffing things up for muck up day. That’s where the community service came from.”
Each month, John escorts six students to Ozanam House at 2pm. They help unpack and sort toiletries and other donations as well as organise and store the donated goods.
“This has helped expand the boys’ view of the organisation and the generosity of donors and how charities rely on this,” he says.
From 5pm, they serve dinner and clean up in the Ozanam House dining room. The students also have the opportunity to meet people experiencing homelessness.
“It is a great experience for the boys to see how disadvantage can lead people to experience homelessness and realise people are only a few short steps away from homelessness,” says John.