Help for homeless
12-YEAR-OLD LEADS THE WAY
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.