Stu­dents dig deep

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS - By Pa­trick Tansey

Tocumwal Pub­lic School has sup­ported farm­ing fam­i­lies af­fected by the drought by do­nat­ing an enor­mous amount of non-per­ish­able goods to the Ba­rooga Lions Club’s Need for Feed cam­paign.

Or­gan­ised by the Stu­dent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Com­mit­tee (SRC), stu­dents and their fam­i­lies gen­er­ously do­nated goods to be dis­trib­uted by the Lions club.

Ba­rooga Lions Club sec­re­tary and Need for Feed cam­paign as­sis­tant sec­re­tary Dar­ren Laf­fan was at the school on Au­gust 27 to re­ceive the goods.

‘‘We are blown away by the gen­eros­ity of the stu­dents of Tocumwal Pub­lic School. This shows farm­ers that there are peo­ple who care about them,’’ Mr Laf­fan said.

‘‘All goods do­nated in this area are col­lected by the Ba­rooga Spor­ties and are dis­trib­uted by the Lions club to the 1500 fam­i­lies that we have on our books at the mo­ment.’’

It was a mon­u­men­tal ef­fort by the Tocumwal Pub­lic School com­mu­nity to pull every­thing to­gether so quickly, with bas­kets for food collection only sent home with stu­dents on Au­gust 8.

Each term the SRC comes up with a dif­fer­ent fundraiser idea to sup­port a par­tic­u­lar cause or char­ity.

Last term the fo­cus was on sup­port­ing peo­ple with brain can­cer, but this term there was only ever go­ing to be one thing stu­dents wanted to hone in on and as­sist with.

‘‘All the stu­dents on the SRC were very pas­sion­ate about sup­port­ing our farm­ers and it was the ob­vi­ous choice this term,’’ SRC co­or­di­na­tor Ros Gastin said.

‘‘We do have a large por­tion of stu­dents from farm­ing back­grounds. It was lovely for them to see there are plenty of peo­ple will­ing to make a dif­fer­ence.’’

In­stead of sim­ply do­ing a gold coin do­na­tion like it would nor­mally do, the SRC wanted to change it up this term and do­nate goods in­stead of money in or­der to make its show of sup­port more tan­gi­ble to bat­tling farm­ers.

Ms Gastin said the school com­mu­nity’s gen­eros­ity was so above and be­yond that it caught her off-guard.

‘‘It was very heart­warm­ing to see. It ob­vi­ously re­ally struck a nerve with the kids and par­ents — I cer­tainly wasn’t ex­pect­ing to re­ceive the amount of do­na­tions that we did,’’ she said.

‘‘The Need for Feed vol­un­teers pointed out to us that it has been the small coun­try towns that have re­ally opened their hearts to farm­ers.

‘‘Dar­ren ac­tu­ally got quite emo­tional when he came to ac­cept the goods. They needed a cou­ple of utes just to take it all to where it needed to go be­fore Fa­ther’s Day.’’

Ms Gastin said the school could not have been any prouder of the SRC for its ef­forts.

‘‘They are very aware of help­ing oth­ers — that’s what the SRC is ul­ti­mately in place for. We run ac­tiv­i­ties both in the school and out­side the school with the pri­mary fo­cus of bet­ter­ing the com­mu­nity,’’ she said.

She said do­nated prod­ucts in­cluded toi­letries, wash­ing pow­der and food.

In a nice touch, all the stu­dents and teach­ers dressed up in their best farm­ing out­fits to show their sup­port.

Great job: The Tocumwal Pub­lic School SRC or­gan­ised a moun­tain of goods to be de­liv­ered to drought-af­fected farm­ers in south­ern NSW.

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