By Bonny Burrows
Two Pakenham schoolgirls have selflessly fund-raised $100 for children less fortunate after being inspired by the story of a wheelchair-bound man.
It was a school presentation by the Rotary Club of Pakenham on a young adult’s journey to independence after being immobile until age 20 that saw 10-year-old Hannah Chard and Jemima Foster, 9, band together to raise money for national charity Wheelchairs for Kids.
Hearing the story of the unnamed man, whose lifestyle was heavily restricted until he received a wheelchair from the charity, bringing with it a newfound independence, pulled at Hannah’s heartstrings.
“I watched a short clip of him eating upright for the first time in his life,” Hannah said.
“It made me sad as I thought about how much he missed out on being a boy and running around with his friends and going to school.
“The wheelchair changed his life and gave him better opportunities.”
Wanting to make a difference, Hannah shared the story with Jemima who was equally moved by the story.
“We both felt very touched by it,” Jemima said.
“We are so fortunate yet some people have so very little and we decided we wanted to raise some money for this worthwhile cause.”
So at a recent church meeting attended by their mothers, the two put on a supper in return for a donation.
With some help from their own pocket money, the girls were excited to raise $100 for the cause.
“That’s halfway to giving a disadvantaged child in a poor country a wheelchair and a brighter future,” Jemima said.
The girls presented their fund-raised cash to the Rotary Club of Pakenham at a meeting in July, hoping for the club to pass it along to the organisation.
But the club did one better.
President Greg Peck said the girls had done such an incredible job that the club decided it too would join the cause.
The club donated the rest of the funds needed to purchase one wheelchair for a person with a disability.
“We’re going to help you achieve your goal,” Mr Peck told the girls.
“What you’ve done is absolutely amazing.”
More information on the cause can be found at: https://wheelchairsforkids.org/