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Primary school students raise $13k for Catholic Mission

Students from St Stephen's Algester
Charity goals: St Stephen’s Primary School, Algester, Year 6 social justice leadership team Thomas Croft, Lucas Hill, Rebecca Sye, Felicity Sellwood, Sophie-lee Sieders, Amelia Johnston, Bianca White led a school-wide push for the Socktober Catholic Mission appeal. The school raised $13,000 for the appeal. Photo: Joe Higgins

“I JUST felt really good about donating, knowing it goes to kids that are less fortunate than us,” Year 6 social justice leader at St Stephen’s Primary School, Algester, Lucas Hill said.

Lucas raised about $270 in a total-school sum of more than $13,000 for Catholic Mission, part of last month’s Socktober appeal to help children in Ghana.

Fellow social justice leaders Thomas Croft, Rebecca Sye, Felicity Sellwood, Sophie-lee Sieders, Amelia Johnston and Bianca White said they learned a lot from the experience.

It was fun too, they said.

Sophie said she loved playing soccer.

She said it was a great game because it was fun and she got to play with her friends.

The students also learned that children in Ghana loved playing soccer too, but because of the poverty there, they had to make their soccer balls out of socks. 

In solidarity and part of Catholic Mission’s appeal, the school pulled up their socks – literally – and had students bringing in materials to make soccer balls out of socks.

At the end of the appeal, the school hosted a penalty shoot-out competition, where students had a chance to kick regular soccer balls and sock soccer balls to see what it was like. 

“People really wanted to do that,” Rebecca said.

“And the assemblies leading up, we’d do a demonstration of what it was and really promote it,” she said.

Students from St Stephen's Algester
School leaders: Thomas Croft, Lucas Hill, Rebecca Sye, Felicity Sellwood, Sophie-lee Sieders, Amelia Johnston and Bianca White.

Emilia said all the kids in the school had so much fun as well.

Thomas said the sum was raised in large part because there wasn’t pressure to hit a certain fundraising mark.

It was just fun, he said.

For Bianca, it was a chance to take stock of it all. 

“We are extremely lucky to live somewhere where we can have the freedom and the money to do this sort of stuff,” she said.

“We’re fortunate for what we have.”

Assistant principal religious education Luke Thomsen said the school had a great soccer club associated with them, Lions FC. 

“They are really supportive of our community and a lot of our kids play soccer,” he said.

He said the fundraising just took hold by itself with the kids having their own fundraising profiles online.

He said because they each had their own profile, each student became little missionaries getting their friends and families behind the effort.

“The teachers and students got behind it,” he said.

“The principal really got behind it.

“Everybody just got behind it, it was a real community project.”

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