Ash Bolt Hamilton Spectator
Western District Health Service’s Big Hearts@WDHS initiative has received a big boost, with Monivae College donating $1,000 this week.
The initiative was set up by WDHS in partnership with St Vincent de Paul to support people under financial stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Around 50 staff have been regularly contributing to the initiative and have raised more than $6,000 since May, with Monivae College chipping in a further $1,000.
Monivae College principal, Jonathon Rowe said the school was proud to support the initiative.
“A big part of what we do at Monivae is related to that social justice aspect”, he said.
In normal times we’re active in the community and it’s important for us to be able to give back to the community…but we’ve been unable to do that because of COVID.
As a school community we’ve always been raising money for charities and missions…and we were looking for a way we could put that to use in a tangible way.
When we heard about what WDHS was doing, and particularly how they had partnered with St Vincent de Paul – another Catholic organisation – we knew we wanted to be a part of it.
It’s all about helping people in need and that’s something very important to us at Monivae,” Mr Rowe said.
WDHS Chief Executive, Rohan Fitzgerald, said it was “heartening” to see Monivae and the wider community get behind the initiative.
“I’m delighted that Monivae College is supporting people in our region through the WDHS Big Hearts program”, he said.
“In these challenging times, it is heartening to see a strong sense of social responsibility and a natural desire to care for our community are values that hold true.
WDHS established the Big Hearts giving program as the pandemic was building across the globe. We felt that as an organisation we should give back to the community that has been so generous to us in the past.”
Mr Fitzgerald said there were many people doing it tough financially due to the pandemic who needed a bit of help.
“As we are seeing in other parts of the world and increasingly across Melbourne and Victoria, the virus is impacting people’s financial wellbeing,” he said.
“Through the Big Hearts program we recognise individuals will be under financial stress and that immediate support to assist with essential items is fundamental.
Our vision of ‘creating healthier communities’, has never been activated so broadly as it has through this crisis, however we understand that health and wellbeing is multifaceted and requires a holistic response.
Thank you to Monivae College for their leadership in supporting this initiative and for encouraging their school community to wear face masks.”
Mr Fitzgerald said any community members, groups or businesses interested in contributing to the Big Hearts@WDHS program can contact Liz McCourt at WDHS on 5551 8613.