SENIOR students at a local school have launched a fundraising campaign with a goal of $20,000 to help drought-affected families.
And while the adult leaders involved appreciate it, they say they’re not surprised at the teens’ generosity.
Still, principal Geoff McManus said, “It heartens us”.
McCarthy Catholic College students and staff will work with the St Vincent de Paul Society to get cash and items to people in need.
They’ve been collecting non-perishable food, and will raise money with a walkathon, a talent show, a bake sale, raffles, and more.
Mr McManus said it “wouldn’t be the first time that kids would come and knock on my door … and say, ‘I think we need to do this’”.
“We’ve previously been working with Australia’s Catholic Mission and have had outreach to a number of places overseas – Africa, India and Uganda in recent times – but the kids felt it was so important that we don’t look overseas this year, that we look locally,” he said.
“Our mission statement is receive, worship, serve.
“We’re always trying to encourage them to understand that – funny, for teenagers – that life is not always about them, but it’s about: how do I position myself to be looking outward to support people who are worse off than me?”
Year 11’s Alice Bruyn said peers from farming families were doing it tough.
“We had a couple of girls come into one of our [walkathon planning] meetings, and they were like, ‘This is really affecting us personally; thank you so much’, which brought it all back to home.”
Co-organiser Cameron Martin said: “They mentioned they were struggling to get running water to their house, and other resources.”
School captain Tom Rindo said it was another worry for students off farms.
“We’ve got all the pressures of study, school, sport and everything, and this drought has created another level of stress.”
St Vincent de Paul Society’s Paul Burton said he was “deeply impressed” with the “energy, enthusiasm and commitment” to help.
The young students he’d worked with in his career had been “just magnificent – and they always have been, and they always will be”.
“These students are very, very typical of the support students have given the society over a very long time.”