ACT News


Canberra kindergarten kids raise money asking for donations rather than presents

Two kindergarten students from Canberra have sacrificed birthday presents to help homeless young people and animals in need.

Canberra Grammar School students Sylvie Redwin and Sassi​ O'Brien held a combined sixth birthday party in June and asked their friends to make a donation rather than buy them presents. [Sylvie technically turns six in October.]

Sylvie's mum Justine said lots of kids were attending the party and the girls quickly embraced the idea of using it to help others.

"We told them they could support whatever charity they liked and talked in fairly generic terms asking them if they wanted to help animals or homeless people or sick people," she said.

Sassi, who'd recently acquired a rescue kitten, opted for the RSPCA ACT. Sylvie, who often saw homeless people outside her local supermarket, wanted to help homeless young people, especially children.

Her mum Google-ed and found YouthCare at St John's Care in Reid, a service which helps the estimated 100 young people homeless in Canberra every night.


The girls raised almost $1000 from their disco at the Griffith community hall, with friends also bringing in pocket money. They split it down the middle and gave close to $500 to YouthCare and the RSPCA.

Sassi's mum Carolyn Luchetta said the girls were pretty aware, despite their tender age.

"It was something she wanted to do, not something I prompted her to do," Carolyn said.

Justine said Sylvie was treated wonderfully by St John's Care director Stuart Davis-Meehan who made her understand just how appreciated the donation was. Sassi has made contact with the RSPCA and is waiting to officially hand over her donation. High five girls!