Homeless encounter leads to charity crusade

Happy and proud: 10-year-old Vincent Pettinicchio.
Happy and proud: 10-year-old Vincent Pettinicchio.

Walking through the city with his grandparents, Vincent said he was touched by the homeless people he encountered, like a mum crying on the floor after being kicked out of home and a young man sleeping on cardboard.

Two years ago, he rallied his friends and family and has since collected 549 toiletries and comfort packs which he donated to the St Vincent de Paul Society.

But Vincent wanted to do more.

Recently, he collected and donated 120 duffle bags to Fremantle Medicare Local�s Fremantle Street Doctor, each with a pillow, blanket, water and toiletries for the local homeless.

He said his project for the homeless started after he had a bad day at school and was told to do something nice for others to make him feel better.

�I feel happy and proud, it�s important to do this and help others and I want them to know that someone cares,� he said.

�Each year I have launched my project by speaking at each of the five masses at my parish over a weekend and asking people for donations of either the items I need for the packs or money to buy what I need.

�This year, I spoke at a second parish and we had five schools join me in collecting items or money for the packs and I write to lots of businesses asking for help and donations.�

Fremantle Medicare Local chief executive Christa Riegler said they were �very happy� to be involved in the project and knew the bags would be well received.

�A lot of people within the community see people that are homeless and disadvantaged and just keep walking,� she said.

�Vincent saw people who might appreciate a helping hand, thought about what he could do and then he did it.

�For a person of any age to be so moved to do something to help others shows an amazing strength and depth of character and Vincent has shown a little bit of compassion can go a long way.�

Visit www.facebook.com/ vincentsprojectforthehomeless for more information.

As part of Homelessness Prevention Week this week, Community Newspaper Group is taking part in a campaign to provide underwear items for homeless men, women and children. See below for details.

Sox �N� Jox Campaign

Purchase: Men�s, women�s or children�s underwear items

Deliver: to your local Community Newspaper Group branch

Log on: Shelter WA