St Mary’s gathers donations for victims of the Sir Ivan fires for Easter

We’re met by many smiles that have not been seen for weeks in the communities of Coolah, Dunedoo, Mendooran and Elong Elong following the devastating fires that burnt through the area in February.

On 30 March it was an honour to present to the Sacred Heart Primary School, Coolah, a supply of Easter goodies to their students to help raise their spirits.

Students and teachers of St Mary’s Catholic College, Gateshead, raised funds at their annual swimming carnival and donated Easter gifts through the Lenten period for the students affected by the fires.

“Our time with the staff and children at Sacred Heart primary was memorable for their words of gratitude, their stories of the bushfires, the relating of emotion and bonding in this time of sacrifice, hardship, helplessness and courage,” said Ministry Coordinator, DeAnna Addicoat.

With many students and their families and friends losing homes, farms and livestock through the fires, the gesture of donating small items for Easter demonstrated that the Catholic sense of community can help heal loss and despair.

“No one has had a chance to even think of Easter yet, many families are just trying to keep going,” said one of the Sacred Heart’s staff members.

Each student was given the chance to talk, share their excitement and just be children whilst opening their gifts. Each of the students talked about who they could share their gifts with as they thought they had received so much. They spoke of sharing with younger siblings, parents and some of their adult friends, who they thought could benefit from their surprise.

The outreach of this simple act has allowed us to create a connection with another school who would like to continue to be a part of our extended community of St Mary’s. They are very touched by the generosity and kindness of the students and staff of St Mary’s.

Sacred Heart Principal, Mr Michael Quade, staff and 29 students extended a huge thank you to the St Mary’s community for making the day so special and for thinking of them.

“The response of our community (students, staff and parents) to the appeal has been truly wonderful,” said Principal, Larry Keating.

“A small community will be gifted with hope. This is the lived reality of the

Easter message and it is your generosity of spirit, born of Christ’s love for us, which has made this possible.”

Follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.