The Mercy Tree is a social justice initiative of OLMC Parramatta where a symbolic tree was planted and blessed in early 2012. It symbolises the growth of the commitment to Mercy Values in the students at OLMC and our broader community. Part of the donations to the Mercy Tree Gift Fund are given to charitable causes nominated by the fund’s trustee. The remainder is invested to provide a secure and ongoing revenue stream to support social justice programs.
This year, by donating to the Mercy Tree, you can help rebuild the lives of refugees and asylum seekers in Western Sydney. By donating to the Mercy Tree you will help the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) provide food vouchers to the families and individuals through Aruppe Place in Parramatta. Aruppe Place provides a range of services to refugees living in Western Sydney including food vouchers, computer use, casework services, general information and referrals, financial assistance and social support activities. It is located in Coolock Cottage next to the Convent of the Sisters of Mercy in Parramatta and is due to open by early 2015. Aruppe Place is part of a broader JRS Shelter Project which responds to the needs of the growing number of asylum seekers facing financial destitution and homelessness by providing temporary accommodation, financial support, and casework services.$50 could provide a vulnerable family with a supermarket voucher, enabling them to buy essentials such as rice, flour, tea, and fresh vegetables for the week.
In the past, the Mercy Tree has supported a number of causes. Strong Young Mums is a program of Catholic Mission aimed at helping young Aboriginal mums develop skills to lead strong, independent lives. The women and children who are assisted by the program often face multiple disadvantages including unemployment, geographic and social isolation, low family income, drug and alcohol abuse and domestic violence. The program provides education opportunities and employment readiness skills, helping to improve their self-confidence and break the cycle of disadvantage. It includes art, creativity and self-empowerment workshops, parent education and TAFE classes and regular work readiness training. Catholic Mission was put forward by Year 10 student Jasmine Yiamkiati, to be considered as a beneficiary of Mercy Tree fundraising
Mercy Tree Donors also helped bring some magic to people with disabilities. $3,500.00 was donated to the Mamre Magic program. Mamre Magic activity days, held at Mamre House, give people with disabilities the chance to experience new things, make choices, explore and identify interests while building confidence. Activities include scone making, pot painting, circus skills, Zumba, Segway rides and lots more. Students from local high schools join up to 50 people with disabilities for these days of shared learning and lots of fun. The funds will be used to purchase a new marquee to allow programs to continue irrespective of weather conditions.
Mercy Tree Donors have helped give independence and dignity to women in need. $3,500.00 was donated to St Michael's Family Centre's Supported Accommodation Program. The Supported Accommodation Program at St Michael's Family Centre Baulkham Hills is a short to medium term accommodation service for women and children who are homeless and/or at risk, most often due to domestic and family violence. The program offers accommodation for a period of three to six months. When they move out of St Michael's into independent living, they need basic whitegoods and these funds will be used to purchase these.
To see a list of donors to the Mercy Tree for the Year ending 30 June 2014, please click here
To see a list of donors to the Mercy Tree for the Year ended 30 June 2013, please click here
To see a list of donors to the Mercy Tree for the year ended 30 June 2012 please click here
To see the financial statements for the Mercy Tree for the Year ended 30 June 2013, please click here
Thank you for your support,
Sister Catherine Ryan RSM
Congregation Leader and Patron of the Mercy Tree Gift Fund
Principal, Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta