They’re only small in number, but that was no obstacle to Grose View Public’s fundraising efforts.
The school’s 260-student community raised $2000 for fire-affected students at Ellison Public and Winmalee Public from a Halloween disco and a donation from the school’s P and C Association.
Last Friday Grose View Public’s captains and vice-captains presented $2000 worth of $100 Coles Myer vouchers to each school’s captains and vice-captains for distribution among fire-affected students.
At Ellison Public 26 children had lost their home during the October bushfires, with a total of 50 students directly affected by the fires.
Principal Rob Hutchinson said the gift vouchers would be welcomed by those who’d lost everything.
“They can choose something for themselves and get a bit of control back in their lives,” he said.
“The thoughts and care of people has been enormous. There’s not a day that goes by when people don’t turn up with something [to donate].”
Mr Hutchinson said the school had received donations from far and wide, including an international school in Singapore [some of its teacher used to live in the Blue Mountains].
He said the aftermath of the fires was like a scene from the movie Apocalypse Now.
“Kids are going home to streets where there used to be just 40 or 50 houses, to just 10 or 12,” he said.
Grose View Public relieving principal Melanie Mackie said her school had experienced bushfire emergencies in the past and wanted to help out.
“We knew it could have been us, and the school was closed for a couple of days. But we were lucky, and wanted to help out,” she said.
At Winmalee Public, nine students lost their homes.
Principal Mark Myles was impressed by the amount raised by a small school, mostly from a disco which usually only raises a few hundred dollars.
“Through the last seven weeks the Aussie generosity has been alive and well,” he said.