By Breanna Inferrera
A GOOSEBERRY Hill Primary School student’s small act of kindness to help those who are homeless has seen her nominated for a national humanity award.
In Local girl spreads warmth to homeless (Echo News, June 19), we reported Elissa Bolton had kick-started the Spread the Warmth project, which encourages local businesses to host a collection box for community members to donate warm items, including blankets, jumpers, gloves, pants, socks and beanies.
The collection boxes are then passed on to organisation Uniting WA to distribute the warm items to those who are homeless.
Gooseberry Hill Primary School year six teacher Ben Orrell, who described Elissa as a “reliable and inclusive friend, hardworking student and proactive school leader”, nominated the 11-year-old for a Fred Hollows Humanity Award.
The award recognises year six students making a positive difference in their community, following in the footsteps of Mr Hollows, a humanitarian and eye surgeon who helped restore eyesight to thousands of people in Australia and overseas.
Elissa said she was surprised and excited to be nominated for the award.
“I am very thankful for my teacher, Mr O, who nominated me,” she said.
“Spread the Warmth has been going amazing.
“We have had people knit beanies, blankets and donate money.
“We have also gone to Narembeen, as the District High there have gotten on board to help us.
“We have donated thousands of pieces of clothing and will be making another trip to Uniting WA shortly.”
Elissa’s mother Rachael said she and her husband have always maintained their role as parents is to encourage their girls to be the best versions of themselves.
“It’s incredibly humbling that Elissa has been recognised for her initiative, and we are so proud of the little lady that she is becoming,” she said.
“This particular award is really special as I think it really encompasses the attributes you want to see your child demonstrate.
“When you realise that your child is growing up to be someone who wants to make a difference, it certainly makes you beam with pride.”
Since its inception in the ACT in 2012, the Fred Hollows Humanity Award has recognised more than 1580 year six students with 17 state and territory junior ambassadors.
Award recipients will be recognised at a presentation ceremony in their state or territory in term four.
One outstanding nominee from each state and territory will be selected as a junior ambassador, who will extend their humanity by allocating $5000 to a Fred Hollows Foundation program of their choice to help end avoidable blindness.
Nominations for the award are open until 11.59pm on September 11.