When offered the position at the end of 2017, I was both overjoyed and excited for the year to come.
The thought that I would be playing a key role in shaping the experiences of many students at St Thomas More College was a real dream come true; finally I could return the incredible breadth of experiences I had received in my first year at the college.
However, one of the greatest surprises, following my appointment to the role, was the lack of understanding associated with what “outreach” meant.
Often, I would receive a variety of responses ranging from overcomplicated speculation to the simple “What’s that?”.
The meaning is straight forward: Outreach is the act of reaching out to someone.
Be it in the community or perhaps just a friend in need, it is guided by the catholic virtue of charity.
Now despite its simplicity, conveying this catholic ethos to a contemporary audience does come with some struggles.
So, when taking on the role, I made it my personal mission to ensure everyone felt compelled to participate; because “outreach” isn’t just a call of religious duty but a call of duty to all mankind.
This year, we have produced a plethora of outreach opportunities for the students at St Thomas More College (Tommy More).
Starting the year off with a bang, we began with the infamous World’s Greatest Shave where 14 Tommy residents took the plunge by shaving, waxing or colouring their hair.
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The event turned out to be a momentous success, raising in excess of $3200 for leukemia research.
This challenge in particular hit home for many students attending the college as a future resident and a close friend to many was recently diagnosed with leukemia.
From this, a large number of students later donated their blood to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service in hopes of finding a possible bone marrow match for their friend.
Efforts such as these are prime examples of how the spirit of charity can affect even the most unlikely of people, causing a ripple that touches the souls of many, as they are drawn to do the same.
In addition to this, we have also organised trips to the Ronald McDonald House.
Twice a semester, fifteen residents make their way to the Ronald McDonald House and cook up a storm for all the families being housed at the institute.
Recently, students paid a visit, offering face-painting and colouring activities in addition to a hot meal.
All the families were overwhelmed by the displays of kindness and care that they received.
Again, this was another prime example of the many ways we can reach out to the community through acts of charity.