Water drive to save parched Stanthorpe community

Christ The King Primary School, Deception Bay

Students Elijah Kunoth, Kiera and Charlie Ingebrigtsen and James Mayne with just some of the water they collected for Stanthorpe residents

AN urgent call for water for drought-stricken residents in Stanthorpe stirred Christ the King Primary School, Deception Bay, into “doing something about it”.

The school community banded together to collect 600ml bottles of drinking water for families in Stanthorpe struggling with the “worst drought in living memory”.

The town’s water supply was at critically low levels and only weeks away from drying up.

Local schools were running out of drinking water for students and some schools did not have enough water to flush the toilets.

A whole community of more than 10 thousand people would run out of water by December.

Christ the King School Teacher Debbie Huxley proposed the idea with the school when she heard about Water Angels – a project to support families in Stanthorpe through collecting donations of bottled drinking water and trucking it to the desperate town.

Locals could then recycle the empty bottles through the State Government’s Containers for Change program and earn some money in the process.

Water Angels founders Anna Bradley and Rachael Wise decided the cheapest and easiest way they found to get the water was to ask people to donate bottled water that they could collect and deliver to Stanthorpe themselves.

They started a Facebook group called Sunshine Coast Water Angels which was shared widely, and collection points were set up around the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.

Christ the King School Assistant Principal for Religious Education Oliver Blenkin said when they heard about the project, they shared the idea with their families and the collecting began.

“It culminated with a big push on ‘Water Wednesday’ and donations from families filled an entire ute and trailer.”

Oliver drove the precious cargo to Maroochydore and dropped it off to the Water Angles who were extremely grateful and amazed by the 1500 litres the school community had collected.

The school’s generous donation made up two of the 75 pallets which contained 58,000 litres of water that was loaded onto three and a half semi-trailers for the three-and-a-half-hour journey to Stanthorpe.

Desperate residents welcomed the precious water where it was needed more than ever following bush fires surrounding the area.

Oliver said the water drive linked back to the Religious Life of the School. 

“There is a line in our school prayer: “Dare us to give of ourselves with a generous spirit” and this is something that we always do in our community.

“Children understand that helping others is the right thing to do, but we are making it explicit that as a Catholic community it goes further, this is what our faith challenges us to do,” he said.

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