Congratulations to our Member of the Month for December, Doin It For Rural Aussie Kids (DIFRAK). DIFRAK aims to uplift and provide support to Australian children in rural communities. Currently, they are holding their 1000 Christmas Gifts for 1000 Rural Children campaign, driving over 10,000 kilometres to deliver gifts throughout five states. Through the support of Good360 and the BIG W Giving Tree, children in regional towns are able to experience the holidays and are not left feeling forgotten. Read about the work of Doin It For Rural Aussie Kids and the touching stories they have witnessed below.
When did you join Good360?
We joined in March, 2022.
What programs do you use your Good360 donations for? Who does the program serve? How does it impact Australians in need?
Doin It For Rural Aussie Kids (DIFRAK) has 2 components to its charity:
Christmas Santa Sacks – Each year DIFRAK assists struggling rural families with Santa Sacks for each of the children in their family. This year we have been thrilled to include LEGO and hair accessories for every child. DIFRAK assists families off the land, families with serious illness or have suffered from a trauma – such as a loss of a family member or have lost homes, employment, etc. due to flooding.
Founder of Doin It For Rural Aussie Kids – Jason Owen – Country Music Singer, undertakes a massive yearly road trip visiting students in small rural and remote small schools. This year Jason is visiting over 1000 students in 5 states – Kinder (Prep) to Year 6. The visit includes a Christmas Gift to every child. This year Good360 assisted in reaching every single child visited. Most of the children were given LEGO, also some of the little ones received pretty hair accessories.
Earlier in the year we were very privileged to be invited into two schools in Central West NSW. As a fun activity for the children we ran colouring in competitions, thanks to Good360 we were able to provide prizes to the children as well as we were able to leave special gifts for a few children going through hard times.
DIFRAK reaches struggling rural families throughout Australia. This year our Santa Sacks program has reached families who are struggling with financial worries, serious illness and flooding devastation. What started as a charity to assist struggling farmers through the drought has grown into areas we never imagined, we hear the most heart breaking stories of loss and desperation.
Our end of year motivational schools program has reached over 1000 children throughout 5 states. Jason has visited children in 19 schools throughout NSW, QLD, NT, SA and Victoria. Some of these children may not receive any other Christmas gifts and are so excited to receive a special gift just for them. Jason speaks to the children about resilience and following their dreams and he then has a singalong and spends time with the kids.
We work with families from all walks of life and something as simple as providing Santa Sacks to someone who is going through a horrendous time is so important to us to be able to lift the burden of Christmas and just lighten the load for a little bit. We experience all types of emotions from the farmers who are at breaking point to the parents of sick children or families who have lost a loved one. When the parents burst into tears at the sound of your voice it is so heartbreaking. Some of these families do not have Christmas on the agenda as finances just do not allow for luxuries and when you live in the bush reaching medical treatment is financially devastating for families.
Having Jason out on the road, interacting with the children and introducing our youth mental health motivational program is such an emotional roller coaster as well. Children are unfiltered and share the saddest stories with Jason about loss, suicide and hardship. The giving of a gift lifts the mood and excites the children – they feed off each other’s excitement. Nearly every child opens their gifts, then every now and then you get that quiet child who just hugs their gift and takes it home to put under the tree so that they have a gift on Christmas morning.
What is your favourite moment/interaction that you have had with a client when utilising the Good360 product?
There have been so many unbelievable moments when you are meeting and giving out hundreds of gifts to children, but the moment that stands out to Jason is a little boy in Mungkarta that was so excited to receive LEGO, and his Mum and baby brother were there to see it. He was so excited that he had tears streaming down his face and he couldn’t stop bouncing and saying “Thank You”.
How does Good360 help your mission?
Good360 has assisted DIFRAK through 2022 assisting some very vulnerable children and families doing it tough in Rural Australia. Good360 and LEGO provided the essential ingredient to our Christmas Gifts which we hand out to the children. These very special gifts are so beneficial to the children to feel a part of the school and an equal to their peers.
What would happen if Good360 wasn’t here to help?
2022 has proven to be very tough in the charity world. Gaining funding has not been an easy task and to have the resources of Good360 available to us has been an absolute life line. Without Good360 this year we would not have been able to give the children the Christmas gifts that they deserve. We would have had to face the reality of not being able to undertake the school run, but with Good360 we have been able to reach the most children that we have ever been able to reach – over 1000. Also, our number one requested item in Santa Sacks is always LEGO. Good360 and LEGO will have certainly made a lot of children very happy on Christmas Day.
What is your favourite donation you have received from Good360? Why?
LEGO is our number one requested item, and to work with Good360 and LEGO to secure the incredible quantity of LEGO has been an absolute godsend to us. We love the excitement of children, the squeals of delight and jumping around is just so heart-warming. Some of these children have never owned LEGO and cannot believe it when they open their gift and it is theirs to take home and keep.
How many lives have you impacted through Good360’s donations?
2022 has been an absolutely massive year for Doin It For Rural Aussie Kids and we are thrilled to have reached 1082 children with gifts this year.