DESPITE its small size and being nestled out at the open fields of Clarke’s Hill, a school’s winter coat drive has attracted a huge haul of clothing.
Since launching their initiative on Thursday 1 June, St Mary’s Primary School students and staff have collected nearly 90 coats and about 20 beanies.
Teacher, Jenny Curran, said the pupils and teachers have been “overwhelmed” by the response to a call for help.
“We popped a note out on Facebook and we’ve had so much support from the community where people have passed them in personally or through other families,” she said.
“It was amazing how many people reached out with no connection to the school.
“As part of our Catholic social teachings, we look at ways we can support people in need just in our general day-to-day.
“Our students recognised that with cold Ballarat winters, gathering coats we no longer need would be a good way to support those in need.”
The coat drive closed on Thursday, with items donated to St Vincent De Paul Ballarat.
The initiative was spearheaded by the school’s grade 4/5/6 leadership team, who choose a different support drive each term.
St Mary’s staff and students also regularly donate money to non-profit Caritas, while their previous coat drive was held a few years ago.
Grade 5 student Maeve is one of the leadership team members who started the coat drive and she said it’s important to be able to help people.
“We wanted to support people during winter,” she said. “People are struggling right now because of the cold so it’s good to be able to help people out.
“We got way more coats than what I was expecting. I brought some coats in as well because we have a lot of kids in my family.”