The partnership between QAHS and Rosies Friends on the Street has continued with more students joining the Rosies Outreach program as guest volunteers throughout the term. By contributing their time, these students have positively impacted the wellbeing of individuals doing it tough in our community. They have also learnt valuable lessons about themselves and the social issue of homelessness.
There is no typical conversation on a Rosies Outreach and through their conversations with the patrons, whether they be about science, religion or the merits of Taylor Swift as a singer, our students support the Rosies mission to provide friendship and unconditional acceptance to those doing it tough.
Year 12 student Kiyo Suzuki describes one of her interactions with the Rosies’ patrons and how that made her feel.
"The most memorable interaction I had was with a lady, probably in her 40’s or 50’s, who was just immensely grateful for us volunteers handing out food and essential items such as shampoo and hand soap. Each time we handed her something, she expressed her heartfelt thank yous and was so kind and respectful. At one point, another patron described how one of the food items didn’t taste the best, but she responded saying she was still so appreciative despite the food not always being amazing. Her gratitude stuck with me as it made me realise how the simple, basic things to some are precious."
What personal qualities have you developed whilst volunteering?
"Communication skills and compassion are important qualities in volunteering, just as elsewhere in life. Volunteering develops these traits amongst others (such as the IB Learner Profile attributes - balanced, open-minded), and these skills are transferable to our daily lives as students: communicating to friends, teachers, students, and adopting an empathetic outlook to our communities."
Year 12 student - Zhuominna Ma
"I further developed my ability to work within a team, as well as communicate with the ‘friends on the street’. I also have stronger compassion for wanting to give back to society in the future. This compassion will motivate me to put more effort into studying and working. This compassion is the fundamental quality that shapes me into being a kinder and more empathetic person."
Year 12 student - Anna Tian
"Through this experience with Rosies I have developed more compassion and have learnt the importance of showing care for those going through tough times. Being able to help them through this small action made me feel useful and the positive energy and the appreciation shown by the patrons motivates me to provide acts of kindness to everyone around me. I believe these qualities will help me become a more open-minded and understanding individual who gives aid to those in a less fortunate situation."
Year 12 student - Layla Kishi
What would you say to other students who are thinking about becoming involved with Rosies?
It is an extremely rewarding programme. While preparing the food for the patrons, one of the volunteers said to me that ‘this is not about the sharing of food, but this is more about the sharing of happiness and love, as we might be the first ones greeting them the whole day’; it really touched me. We are so lucky that we are surrounded by many people who love us and are willing to chat with us. This programme requires us to become loving individuals to help the ‘friends on the street’ to feel loved, cared and valued. While working in a friendly environment with other like-minded volunteers, you are directly helping society to become a more welcoming place for all individuals. While it only requires a little effort for you to sign up, the result is so valuable, and the impact on the patrons is priceless.
Year 12 student - Anna Tian
Rosies reaches out to those most in need, people who are homeless or at risk, lonely, and socially isolated within our communities.