Having had first-hand experience of hardship after the Thomas Foods factory fire earlier this year, the St Joseph’s students were only too willing to reach out and support another community in need.
Students raised $824 on the day, with the money to be donated to St John’s School at Baradine, a small farming community in north western NSW which is affected by the drought.
St John’s principal Annette Cooney, who leads the small school of only 35 students, said the money would be spent on buying much needed sports equipment.
“This was a request we were making to our Parents and Friends but had held back because local fundraising activities have stopped. Everyone, including small businesses, are doing it tough at the moment.
“We are very heartened by the national concern for those battling drought. Thank you so very much for your kindness,” she wrote in an email to St Joseph’s school community.
St Joseph’s deputy principal Erika Dixon said the fundraiser had really struck a chord with the students, whose families had also been doing it tough this year following the fire at the Murray Bridge abattoirs.
“Mary MacKillop said ‘never see a need without doing something about it’ and through this fundraiser the students had the opportunity to show how Mary’s message is relevant today,” she said.
St Joseph’s students spoke of their joy in being able to help students in need at another Catholic school. Some of their comments included:
“I feel sad because they have no rain but I am happy to help today,” William, Reception.
“I think it is sad they don’t have enough water and I hope it rains soon,” Lillian, Year 2.
“We learnt about how much the farmers are struggling and it made me grateful for little things like showers,” Kirrilee, Year 7.
Besides making gold coin donations, each class had their Social Justice representatives bring their prayer and message of support to a photo booth that was set up on the day. The photos taken have been collated and will be put into a book that will be sent to St John’s along with the sports equipment.