Special delivery for struggling farmers

Good Shepherd School, Springfield Lakes

Year 4 students Scarlett Cross, Zach Borres, Lianna Bano, teacher Ruth Casey,
Samuel Kienzl and Amelia Lanzafame add to their collection for struggling farmers

CHRISTMAS is back on for struggling farming families in the Lockyer Valley this year thanks to a special delivery from Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School, Springfield Lakes.

Two Year 4 students joined two teachers to deliver a trailer-load of donations to St Mary’s School, Laidley, for distribution to the families, many already struggling with the devastating drought before catastrophic bushfires raged through the area destroying what was left of their farms.

St Mary’s Assistant Principal for Religious Education Clare Hogan said it was fantastic to watch the Good Shepherd staff and students arrive with the vehicles filled with items such as toilet paper, pet food, cleaning products, books, toiletries, food and Christmas gifts for the children.

She said these were among the items the farmers said they needed most.

“We are so overwhelmed with the generosity that the Good Shepherd students have shown to our struggling community,” she said.

“The impact that this selfless act has had is enormous.

“It will mean that some of our families will not have to go without this Christmas.

“It will help to ease the financial pressure that many of our families are experiencing,” she said.

Good Shepherd Year 4 teacher, Ruth Casey, who drove the special delivery to Laidley said it was a visit from Troy and Lorena Huggins from Huggins Organic Farms to Good Shepherd School that sparked the Year 4 students into action.

Ms Casey said the pair spoke to students about the issues farmers faced during a drought, and the bigger impact the weather event had on families, the local communities, and even throughout the whole of Australia.

She said the students were so moved by their story and so empowered to help the farmers, they embarked on their own project.

“They began by undertaking research which compared rainfall data with Springfield Lakes and rural Queensland,” she said.

Year 4 Student Toby Stephens said it was heartbreaking to learn that the highest rainfall in some of these rural places was lower than Brisbane’s lowest rainfall, and these were actually the places that needed rain the most.

The students also reached out to Drought Angels and Rural Aid to ensure the donations they collected were what the farmers needed.

Year 4 student Scarlett Cross said what they really wanted to do was to make it rain for the farmers.

“But we are just kids and can’t end the drought," she said.

"So we defined our focus to make sure the farmers were encouraged to keep going, given some hope and showed respect and appreciation so that they could enjoy the Christmas season,” she said.

The Year 4 students engaged the whole school to help by creating passionate messages to allow everyone to empathise with the farmers.

Then the donations came flooding in from everyone.

Ms Casey said Good Shepherd had some close family connections to St Mary’s, so it was amazing to see their reaction when they arrived at the school with the donations.

“They showed such enthusiasm and gratefulness for this much-needed delivery,” she said.

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