Schoolgirl raises money for Syrian aid
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.