Staff Provide Support to Homeless

Members of the Santa Maria staff have been helping the Perth-based charity Homelessness; We Care regularly now for a number of years. The charity is run by past student Jane Armstrong (Class of 1993) and her partner Sim. Our staff provide care packages, sponsor and supply food, cook and serve meals to the homeless community in the Perth CBD.

We interviewed some of our staff who have been volunteering with Homelessness; We Care.

Dean of Year 11, Rosa Speranza became involved while working at Mercedes College. Rosa said, “I was made very aware of the needs of the homeless while working in the CBD.  Jane Armstrong is one of my past students from Santa Maria. We connected again after many years and I was delighted to help her with the service she was providing.” 

Ailsa Harris, Head of Science discovered the organisation through a link on social media. “I thought this would be a good opportunity, and I could also share this experience with my family. We collected trays of resources donated by the local community and made over 200 care packs.”

Language teacher, Veronique Heekeng, said she became involved, “Firstly, because I wanted to help the most vulnerable and make them feel like a part of the community. Secondly, by feeding and supporting the homeless, I am able to bring into action some of our College values of Hospitality, Compassion, Justice and Service. Finally, I chose to be part of Homelessness; We Care because I wanted to not only volunteer my time but also my passion for baking. To date, I have donated some homemade treats such as Palmiers, Amalfi lemon cakes, butter cookies, and cupcakes. Next on the list are Madeleines”

Santa Maria staff, Rosa Speranaza, Ailsa Harris and Charmaine Samuels helping at the 2020 Christmas event

“Volunteering is a gift that just keeps on giving to all involved - it warms the soul.”

When asked what she would say to someone thinking of volunteering, Head of Mathematics, Raechel Grieves said, “Don’t go into it thinking it will be easy or that people will be thankful. Volunteering is believing that your own actions can make a difference to the lives of others, even though you may never see what it is. Through their actions, Jane and Simone are an inspiration to others.”

Charmaine Samuels, Science Teacher, said “Volunteering with Homelessness; We Care affords me the opportunity to give back to the local community and make a contribution and difference in the lives of those experiencing difficulty through homelessness for a range of reasons. I have met many selfless, kind, and compassionate volunteers who inspire me to be a better person. These are people who truly action their faith and compassion, through mercy to others. I look forward to the Tuesday evenings when we are on the roster and it has become like a little community of friends at Wellington Square Park.”

“There is nothing more fulfilling than realising how much of an impact a volunteer can make in the life of someone who is less fortunate.”

How can I help?

If you would like to help, or can sponsor a meal or two or provide items for care packages, please contact Rosa Speranza [email protected] or Charmaine Samuels [email protected]

Here are some suggestions for donated items for care packages:

Packs of socks, packs of underwear (female or male) and beanies with winter approaching.

Personal Hygiene Care Packs – toothpaste, toothbrush, body wash/soap, hand lotion, deodorant (preferably roll on) face washer, female hygiene products (tampons, pads).

Food Care Packs – small long-life milk, small box/packet of cereal, small tin of tuna, small pack of crackers, treat such as chocolate or crisps or health bar, bottle of water, plastic bowl, plastic spoon.

Scroll to Top