Cans for Christmas on a roll

cans for christmas

Cans for Christmas is a project that collects canned food through Catholic Schools and donates them to the St Vincent de Paul Society.

Christ the King Primary School Owairaka assistant principal and Year 5 and 6 teacher Billy Hadnett came up with the idea for the initiative, which began in 2015.

Hadnett established Cans for Christmas as a project to initially create community and unity between Catholic schools in Auckland.

“The idea started after attending an Edmund Rice conference and becoming involved in a discussion about how helping in our own backyard is the first place we should start,” Hadnett says.

“This, combined with the knowledge that all Catholic schools already do individual service projects, brought about the idea of schools pulling together as one to donate at one time and in a large capacity.”

Students taking part gain a sense of involvement, as well as being a part of something bigger.

“All children and schools involved get to help with their little bit to be part of the larger donation – it means they can feel like they have helped in a big way, just by donating one or two cans.”

Cans for Christmas has been operating for two years. In its first year, 10 schools and the Auckland Diocesan (sic) took part, and collected approximately 4000 cans, and last year 19 schools and the Auckland Diocesan gathered approximately 8000 cans.

These 8000 cans were estimated to be worth $11,000, which was only a small portion that St Vincent de Paul hand out at Christmas time each year to families in need.

This year, Cans for Christmas has grown to include 30 Catholic primary schools, seven secondary schools and the Auckland Diocesan, and it also involves two Dunedin-based primary schools.

It is hoped approximately 14,000 cans will be collected, Hadnett says, which is still a small proportion of what the St Vincent de Paul Society pass on to families in need at Christmas, every year.


News category: New Zealand.

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