Orange was the colour of the week when 25 St Peter Claver College (SPCC) staff pledged to wear the same clothes for three days to raise money and awareness for homelessness in Australia.
As part of the 2020 Sudsy Challenge – run by Orange Sky Laundry – the team raised an amazing $6100+ after setting an original target of $1200.
St Peter Claver College, Assistant Principal Religious Education, Angela Ryan said St Peter Claver had been a supporter of Orange Sky Laundry for a few years.
“We were part of a BCE fundraising effort that helped raise money for their first van and from that it's been an organisation we've continued to support," she said.
Ms Ryan also said the College had a long tradition of supporting people experiencing homelessness.
“It's not possible for us to participate in our traditional social justice activities in this space at the moment due to COVID-19 restrictions, so we saw this as an effective and COVID-safe way to be able to support the crucial work of Orange Sky Laundry," she said.
“It's been a great way for us to raise money and awareness about homelessness in Australia and a good way to get our students talking about it too.
“I found while wearing the orange shirt for three days that I was a lot more mindful of how I take things like clean clothes and a choice as to what to wear for granted. I was sick for a couple of days during this time and also thought how hard it would be to be unwell and not have a safe place to rest or have access to medication.
“It really made me appreciate the things I usually take for granted – like having a washing machine or a safe place to lie down when feeling unwell."
SPCC Campus Minister Stacey van der Westen said participating in the Sudsy Challenge was an educational opportunity for the students as well as herself.
“It was very eye-opening for the students to understand that more people than they might have originally thought are actually living with homelessness," she said.
“Personally, it was a reminder people don't choose homelessness," she said.
“I was also grateful to have had this opportunity to contribute to something greater than myself."
All funds raised as part of the Sudsy Challenge will help support Orange Sky Laundry's 31 services across Australia and give people doing it tough access to free laundry, warm showers and most importantly, genuine conversation.
The words of St Peter Claver inspired staff to take action and join in the Sudsy Challenge. He said, “We must speak to them with our hands by giving before we speak to them with our lips."
Did you know?
1 in 200 Australian experience homelessness.
PHOTO: The SPCC Sudsy Challenge Team raised $6100+ for homelessness in Australia.