School­girl raises money for Syr­ian aid

Upper Hutt Leader - - FRONT PAGE - MATTHEWTSO

War-torn Aleppo is pretty far re­moved from most eight-yearolds’ radars, but not so for one Up­per Hutt school­girl.

Pearl Winkworth is not only able to point Syria out on the map – she has been ac­tively rais­ing money for fam­i­lies in the em­bat­tled Mid­dle-Eastern state.

She be­gan sell­ing re­us­able hand warm­ers over win­ter to help fam­i­lies in Aleppo af­ter learn­ing about the Syr­ian civil war at school.

She was struck by the im­pact the war was hav­ing on the peo­ple of Syria and de­cided some­thing needed to be done.

‘‘I wanted to raise money for the peo­ple in Aleppo be­cause their houses got bombed and they don’t have much to live with.

‘‘They should have what we have,’’ Pearl said.

The St Bren­dan’s School stu­dent went to her mum with her fundrais­ing idea and they de­cided hand warm­ers would be a use­ful item to sell over win­ter.

They bought a box of 200 gel hand warm­ers from a whole­saler which Pearl sold at her school, sports matches and on so­cial me­dia site Neigh­bourly.

She had raised $165 so far, which she do­nated to New Zealand based char­ity ReliefAid.

The money had pro­vided six fam­i­lies with ‘‘shel­ter kits’’ which con­tained blan­kets, mat­tresses, warm clothes, wa­ter con­tain­ers and lamps.

ReliefAid spokes­woman Anne Bul­ley said Pearl’s con­tri­bu­tions were greatly ap­pre­ci­ated and she was mak­ing a real dif­fer­ence.

‘‘We think her ef­forts are fan­tas­tic.

‘‘She’s only eight. It’s un­usual for a girl that age to be think­ing about over­seas is­sues and want­ing to do some­thing about them.

‘‘Fundrais­ing is hard. Any char­ity will tell you that and the ef­fort she’s put in is tremen­dous.’’

Bul­ley said an eight-year-old send­ing aid to the other side of the world was a ‘‘pow­er­ful story’’ and ReliefAid’s team in Syria had been telling lo­cals about her ef­forts.

Pearl’s mum Sum­mer Ac­ton said she was very proud of her daugh­ter.

‘‘It’s nice to see her make a real dif­fer­ence to other peo­ple’s lives.‘‘

Pearl was de­ter­mined to con­tinue send­ing money to fam­i­lies in Syria and was al­ready look­ing for new prod­ucts to sell or ideas to gen­er­ate do­na­tions.

She thought ice­blocks dur­ing sum­mer could be her next fundraiser.


Pearl Winkworth points out Syria on the map.

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