The St Vincent De Paul Society received a generous donation of $27,000 from the industry at the annual ARN ICT Industry awards.
Representing Vinnies' on behalf of the IT industry, Staples CEO Karl Sice, was on stage to receive the donation in front of 680 of the industry's elite.
Vinnies general manager, fundraising and communications, Julie McDonald was very happy with the donation, which will be used to help fund the charity's IT education programmes for the homeless and impoverished in the community.
“Vinnies would like to thank ARN and the IT sector at large for their continued support and generosity. The $27,000 donation made to Vinnies at the ARN Awards will be put towards the computer courses on offer at the Vinnies Ozanam Learning Centre in Woolloomooloo," she said.
"A dedicated learning and recreation facility, the OLC aims to break the cycle of poverty by providing education, training and recreation opportunities to help get people achieve an independent life and meaningful employment."
The OLC is open five days a week and runs a range of programs and services from case management; life skills; literacy; music; art therapy; cookery and a wide range of computer and TAFE courses.
Over the last year it has run a TAFE Computer Basics course for fourteen students per semester, giving them the basic computer skills they need to set up and use email, and to learn how to create and edit word documents. For those that want to go further, it offers a Open Computer Class which accommodates approximately twelve students per week and ensures that the newly formed skills are being continually developed.
Computer skills are something that are often taken for granted, but McDonald told ARN that the confidence gained through the courses, as well as the growing skill set are often the important first step for people experiencing homelessness to move forward with their lives and to invest in their future again.
"Without the ongoing support of the Technology sector, Vinnies simply could not provide this suite of education options to people who need them most.”
Vinnies was chosen as this year's ICT Industry Awards' official charity due to its extensive work with the ICT industry, which saw large attendance at this year's Vinnies CEO Sleepout, which saw bosses from companies such as Staples, Microsoft, Lenovo, Intel, Avnet and Thomas Duryea sleeping it rough overnight.
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