Koala Kids recently received generous donations from Camberwell Grammar, St Vincents de Paul Catholic Primary and Wodonga and Mentone Primary Schools totaling more than $6,500. With the exception of Camberwell Grammar, in each case a child in the school community had been treated for cancer.
Camberwell Grammar held its sixth annual Koala Kids fundraiser with more than 450 middle school students running/walking doing laps around the block on a lovely Spring day. We were presented with a cheque for more than $4,400 making the total of more than $30,000 raised by the same year levels over the past six years.
Koala Kids was voted unanimously by the SRC at St Vincents de Paul Primary School to be the recipient of funds raised from Footy Colours Day of more than $1,000. The school, which coincidentally has had two young students undergo cancer treatment, has been supporting Koala Kids for more than five years since year 3 teacher Connie Di Maio shared her own adolescent cancer journey with her students.
Connie recently returned to teaching, at St Anne’s Primary in Sunbury after having two baby boys over the past three years. Connie has remained a volunteer with Koala Kids, managing the Koala Kids Superhero program for children and young people attending Peter Mac for radiotherapy.
Mentone Primary School raised $500 in memory of Gracie (aka Gracie’s Shoebox program). Gracie came up with the idea of filling shoeboxes with things for children to do while spending time in hospital. See Gracies Shoeboxes for more information.
Wodonga Primary School raised funds on one of its casual clothes days to celebrate one of its students who had spent most of the year in Melbourne undergoing cancer treatment.
Our schools program is not just about fundraising and we relish the opportunity to go into a school and talk about the important support we provide children and young people and their families during treatment.
We went to Wesley College, Prahran campus to thank the year 4 students for the Gracies Shoeboxes they had filled with craft and other items to distract young students during treatment. We are returning shortly to address the year fives and sixes who donated Gracies shoeboxes too.
Koala Kids Jess Bucci spoke at a year 8 leaders’ forum at MLC, Kew. Despite early nerves Jess quickly grew comfortable and shared lots of fabulous Koala Kids stories with the students before answering dozens of questions.
Koala Kids schools program is gathering momentum, engaging primary and secondary students in volunteering opportunities and the support we provide children and young people during cancer treatment and their families.