The St Vincent de Paul Society is seeing new cohorts of people seeking help for the first time and state president Mark Gaetani says it makes appeals, such as the Winter Relief Appeal, even more vital.
Mr Gaetani said due to COVID-19 affecting employment opportunities it was the first time the society had received calls to assist temporary visa holders and students.
“As a community would be aware, international students have been left behind in terms of any federal support, they have received state support but it’s been quite minimal and we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of international students and temporary visa holders that have come to see us that we’ve never ever seen in the past,” he said.
“None of these international students have work. They’re now finding themselves coming to the society seeking support for food, utilities, medical support and most importantly, they’re coming to us for rental support.”
Monday marks the final day to get your donations in for The Examiner’s Winter Relief Appeal.
The appeal supports St Vincent de Paul, City Mission, the Salvation Army and the Launceston Benevolent Society.
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Mr Gaetani said with more people seeking help due to the pandemic, appeals funded by the generosity of the community were essential.
“It adds to the existing existing group of people that we that we would normally see and continue to see. So you know funds raised from the Winter Appeal are really important for us at this time of year to help support that new cohort of people that we’ve never seen before.
“A special thank you to all of the readers for their wonderful and generous support. We certainly appreciate it and without the kind donations we wouldn’t be able to continue to support those who are doing it tough in the community, to the extent that we we previously had been able to,” he said.
The goal for this year’s appeal was to raise $70,000 but more than $110,000 has already been donated. A final donation tally will be announced in coming days.
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