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5 July, 2021

Serving breakfast and a chat

SERVING up a hot breakfast and a chat, the Brekky Van has, over the years, provided comfort to countless people in Mackay.

Mercy College Justice Coordinator Cecelia McLoughlin said the service started towards the end of 2020, with the idea three years in the making.

Ms McLoughlin said two year-10 students run the van and cook the food, at the same time, learn- ing many different skills.

The service has teamed up with Orange Sky to wash Mackay’s disadvantaged and homeless, where they are located at the front of St Vincent De Paul at South Mackay Every Wednesday and Friday.

The Brekky Van helps Mackay’s homeless and disadvantaged by offering them breakfast and a chat.

“Research shows students who involve them- selves in service learning ... at a young age and do that later in their lives,” Ms McLoughlin said.

Service-learning is an educational approach that combines learning objectives with commu- nity service in order to provide a practical and progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs.

She said the main outcome was to help create “a better world”.

“It comes back to our school values: it comes back to hope, compassion, and justice. Restoring dignity to everyone in the community, who might be without a home or enough money to feed their family themselves,” she said.

“Not judging by how they look or what car they are driving or what they might be doing, it’s just about providing them a hot meal, at the end of the day, but also a conversation.

“Quite often people get shunned in the com- munity. They might be homeless, might not be wearing shoes, might have tattoos.

“It’s about giving them the conversation that other people avoid with them in the community.” Ms McLoughin said one man has been coming to Orange Sky for three years to get his clothes washed.

“He usually comes in, got no shoes on and is often carrying a teddy bear. He has actually be known to Orange Sky for three years now,” she said.

“He’ll have a little bit of a chat now. It’s little things like that we feel are making the difference.”

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