Justice, mercy and backpacks

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This week is Homelessness Week: Coomera Anglican College students and their Chaplain tell us about an ongoing project inspired by Micah 6.8, which is developing students’ generosity and bringing some much needed TLC to people sleeping rough on our streets

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Coomera Anglican College’s Primary Student Representative Council (SRC) is leading the way with justice&mercyPROJECt, as they collect items for backpacks that are distributed to St John’s Crisis Care clients.

The justice&mercyPROJECt is embedded into the College’s curriculum, with students looking at the concept of justice and mercy, and how it is about identifying with people, learning from them and recognising that all lives have particular challenges.

College Chaplain The Rev’d Mary-Anne Rulfs, who has been driving this project at the College for a number of years, said that each year she is impressed with the impact the project has on the wider community and on students.

“The justice&mercyPROJECt aims to help our students identify how they can be active participants in the world from the concept of justice and mercy and make a positive difference to others’ lives through small, yet significant acts of kindness,” The Rev’d Rulfs said.

“Our students coordinated themselves to collect items for backpacks so that they can be provided to St John’s Crisis Care.”

Primary SRC students collect a number of different items, including toiletries, sunscreen and eating utensils, which are placed in donation bins around the school.

Primary SRC members have been proactive in making a difference on the wider community by taking a step outside of their comfort zones.

Students Amanda Fernandez, Dianne Eadeh, Lucy Gotlieb, Annabelle Sullivan, Lucy Gotlieb, Ruby Walker, Ivana Bayliss, Zeke Taylor, Lachlan Taylor and Deklan Ford loading boxes into the van with St John’s Crisis Centre staff members Dianne Eadeh and Ed Eadeh on Wednesday 24 July

Year 6 student and Student Representative Council Leader Lachlan Walker said that seeing the boxes filled with essential items is the highlight of the project for him.

“My team and I decided to assist people in need this winter, and we thought the Winter Backpack appeal for the St John’s Crisis Centre would be a great charity to support,” Lachlan said.

“I enjoyed packing up all of the boxes and seeing how much our College Community has donated.”

Year 3 student Ivana Bayliss said that she finds the practical tasks of the project rewarding, including packing and delivering the boxes.

“I wanted to help the homeless and I wanted to make sure they had a good life,” Ivana said.

“The best thing about this appeal was packing up all of the boxes and giving them to St John’s Crisis Centre.”

(L-R): Lachlan Taylor, Annabelle Sullivan, Deklan Ford, Lucy Gotlieb and Ed Eadeh giving boxes of collected item to St John’s Crisis Centre staff on Wednesday 24 July

The justice&mercyPROJECt is inspired by Micah 6.8, which helps orientate the College’s students to participate in God’s mission in the world, as God asks us to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.

The Rev’d Mary-Anne said that the project is helping the students develop generous and joyful spirits, as well as preparing them for the future.

“The amazing thing is that this kind of generosity transforms us into happier and more whole people,” she said.

“Our students – the global citizens of the future – are learning this daily, and research tells us this is a significant contributor to their wellbeing! It’s a win-win.”

August 4 to 10 is Homelessness Week, an annual week aiming to raise awareness of people experiencing homelessness, the issues they face and the action needed to achieve enduring solutions.

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