YEAR 11 and 12 students spent a night sleeping rough at their Butler school recently to get an insight into homelessness.
The group of 61 Irene McCormack Catholic College students and teachers arrived at the annual Winter Sleepout with a cardboard box, pillow, water bottle for the August 24 event.
They were served soup and bread for dinner.
Service learning co-ordinator Cherie Milne invited Paula Angel to speak at the event after reading a Homelessness Week article in Community News, and she shared her story about being homeless, traumatic experiences and the drive to survive.
“Paula spoke from the heart,” Miss Milne said.
“She was open and genuine in all that she shared with our students, allowing them to ask her anything about her journey.
“Paula’s strength and positivity was infectious.”
As part of their service learning, students in Year 11 sought sponsors to donate either money or food and raised more than $650 for the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
The sleepout followed the annual Winter Appeal for donations for The Shopfront, a Catholic Agency working directly with the homeless and people facing hardship.
During the appeal, the college community collected winter clothing and bedding, canned foods and toiletries, delivering them to the Maylands-based charity.
“The students found the experience incredibly rewarding and enlightening, showing them firsthand how our donations were going to make a difference in other people’s lives,” Miss Milne said.