Help for home­less

12-YEAR-OLD LEADS THE WAY

Joondalup Weekender - - Opinion -

AT just 12 years of age, Vin­cent Pet­tinic­chio has al­ready helped nearly 4000 peo­ple in need.

When he was seven, he was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing bul­ly­ing.

To help, his mum told him to think of do­ing some­thing to sup­port oth­ers in need and Vin­cent’s Project for the Home­less was born.

In­spired by see­ing peo­ple liv­ing on the streets of Perth, the Kallaroo young­ster started putting to­gether packs of toi­letries and com­fort items.

This year, the project ex­panded at his school, Sa­cred Heart Col­lege, with par­ents, vol­un­teers and stu­dents jump­ing on board for a two-day pack­ing event. He also had 18 other schools from around Perth con­tribut­ing and has gained sup­port from a num­ber of cor­po­ra­tions.

Vin­cent also uses his spare time to speak at dif­fer­ent parishes, ro­tary clubs, cor­po­rate events and schools to raise aware­ness about the home­less.

His 10-year plan is to help 14,000 peo­ple, which was the es­ti­mated num­ber of home­less peo­ple when he started in 2013. So far he has helped 3960. Last month, he was named as one of 24 fi­nal­ists for the 2017 WA Youth Awards, which recog­nise the achieve­ments and con­tri­bu­tions of young West Aus­tralians aged 12 to 25, as well as or­gan­i­sa­tions that work with WA youth.

Joon­dalup-based Youth Fu­tures WA is also a fi­nal­ist. The char­ity of 30 years aims to em­power young peo­ple to over­come their is­sues through ed­u­ca­tion and sup­port pro­grams.

Vin­cent Pet­tinic­chio at Sa­cred Heart Col­lege’s pack­ing event.

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