How a 16 Year Old Helped the Homeless – Sophia’s Story

How a 16 Year Old Helped the Homeless – Sophia’s Story

We at Ozcare are privileged to be able to support many Queenslanders facing a difficult time, from homeless men to women and their children fleeing from domestic violence.

We receive countless donations each year from generous businesses, Queenslanders, and even our own staff, which put a smile on the face of our clients who often come to us with nothing but the clothes on their back.

The donated items are not often expensive, but they are priceless in their ability to restore dignity; they are basic toiletries, new shoes, new clothes, or a home starter kit with saucepans and utensils.

Every now and then we are contacted by a special person, a person who goes over and above to give back to their community and help those less fortunate to themselves. Today we want to share the story of one such person, Sophia, a 16-year-old student from Ipswich.

“My family took a holiday to America six years ago. When we were in New York I saw how homeless people lived and was really shocked. I was only 9 at the time, but had grown up in a small country town, so had never seen large cities or people living in the way I saw these people live. It was then and there I decided that when I grew up I would buy a house for all the people without a home to come and live in it.

Six years on I find myself living in Ipswich and attending West Moreton Anglican College, undertaking a leadership challenge. We were asked to take $10 each and multiply it by fundraising and doing charitable works, then choose an organisation to gift the funds to. I had no doubt in my mind that I wanted to help those people who help the homeless. Being much older and living in a city now, I look at how well off I am to have a loving family and a roof over my head, a good education and food on the table. I am aware that in the community I live in people struggle to have those things and I want to make a difference.

I raised funds by using the $10 to set up a fundraising stall at school. After all my hard work, I only made a small profit of $2.50. I was really upset to think that I would not be able to make a difference with that amount of money. I then decided to live for 48hrs without life's comforts. I gave up the comfort of my house - I lived and slept in the garage for the weekend, I gave up food - only drinking water, and I gave up technology. I made a GoFundMe page and spoke to my friends and family about what I was trying to achieve.

I am so happy to be able to donate $300. I know it will not buy a house for the homeless, but if it helps one person in a small way I can feel proud.”

Sophia, far from helping just one person, your $300 and another donation of fresh bread provided nine families in our Ipswich accommodation services with healthy, nutritious meals for an entire week. Your generosity and entrepreneurial spirit has made a direct difference to our clients’ lives. On their behalf, we thank you.

To donate funds or goods to any of our community support services, use our online form or call us on 1800 Ozcare (1800 692 273). Our donations page has a handy list of items that our clients need most.

100% of donations go directly to our services, and you can specify the service you would like to support.

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