BUSHFIRE APPEAL: Alejandro Munoz, from Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School, was happy to help Laidley students in need.
BUSHFIRE APPEAL: Alejandro Munoz, from Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School, was happy to help Laidley students in need.

School kids ‘devastated’ by tales of fire, drought

CROPS destroyed by fires which have forced parents to quit their jobs are just some of the stories Ipswich school students have been told.

Year 4 student Alejandro Munoz learned of bushfire horror and the ongoing drought when students from St Mary’s Primary School Laidley visited his school.

Attending school only an hour’s drive from Laidley, the Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School student was “devastated” by stories of bushfire and drought.

“I’ve heard how the fires are affecting the farmers and pretty much destroying their lives,” he said.

“They love what they’re doing but they’re pretty much forced to stop.”

Alejandro met two Laidley farmers when they visited his school and heard how the drought had been affecting the environment.

He, and his classmates, discovered how, only an hour away, families were struggling to make ends meet.

“The drought is ruining their crops so they can’t earn money,” he said.

“We can’t stop the drought but we can help by donating items they’re finding it hard to get money for.”

Alejandro said items like toilet paper, pet food, cleaning products, books, toiletries and food were among the things farmers said they needed most.

Inspired to do whatever they could to help, the students made every effort to collect items to donate to the farmers.

“We all tried to go to the shops more and, whenever our parents bought something, we would always ask nicely if we could buy another for the farmers,” he said.

GSCPS Assistant Principal for Religious Education James Bradley said the school felt connected to Laidley.

“We have some close family connections in Laidley and they’ve been talking about some of the challenges they’re experiencing with the drought and fires,” Mr Bradley said.

“Some of those stories were relayed to our Year 3 and 4 students who asked how they could help.”

Students drove the appeal and, during the course of two weeks, managed to gather so many items Mr Bradley thought the school might need to take two trips to get them to St Mary’s.

“They didn’t want to just give something, they actually wanted to target what they wanted and needed,” he said.