For the past three years, instead of asking for birthday presents at her birthday parties Lucinda McGarrigan has been asking her friends for donations to Vinnies.


Lucinda’s birthday money will this year go towards the St Nick’s program because she wants her donation to go towards supporting “young people my age who are carers for their families and don’t get the same opportunities to have a break”.

“I am amazed that people my age work so hard - and they don’t get a break if we don’t help them,” said Lucinda.

St Nick’s provides respite and recreation to young carers aged between 9 and 17 and celebrated 20 years of operation earlier this year.

As well as two camps a year, fun activities are run for a few hours every month, providing young carers with a break from their caring role, and to give them an opportunity to have fun and try new things.

Lucinda originally started donating her birthday money after chatting to her mum about how lucky their own family is.

Lucinda felt like she had enough things and that it was better to help disadvantaged young people rather than asking for presents for herself.

“At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to give up birthday presents. It is fun getting presents - and opening them. But I realised I hadn’t even played with all of my presents from my previous birthday, or read all the books. I get more than enough. Mum is happy too - she is always saying we don’t need more ‘stuff’,” said Lucinda.

When she came to the Deakin office of the St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn to donate her birthday money, she was presented with a special Certificate of Appreciation.

“We’re so grateful to Lucinda, not just for her generous financial donation to the Society, but for her empathy and compassion towards young people in our community who are doing it tough,” said Barnie van Wyk, CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn.

27 July 2018