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School Savvy launches in Hinkler Central

School Savvy families
Shari Jackson, Di Schackow and Robert Sims at the School Savvy launch in Hinkler Central.

Families and businesses are being asked for donations to help the team at School Savvy provide access to low-cost, quality stationery and second-hand school uniforms to those in need.

Yesterday the School Savvy CQ team launched the 2023 School Savvy back-to-school campaign at Hinkler Central.

Shari Jackson, CatholicCare’s General Manager for Health and Wellbeing Services, said School Savvy was an initiative driven by the generosity and kindness of local businesses and the local community.

“From now until our pop-up shops open in January, we are asking families to donate any school uniforms that they no longer need,” Shari said.

“We also spend the back half of the year canvassing local businesses to provide financial sponsorship, that we then use to purchase quality basic stationery supplies that meet school booklist requirements.”

Shari said that by bringing School Savvy pop-up shops to Bundaberg, Gin Gin and Childers for the past three years, she and her team had seen first-hand just how much the program was needed by hundreds of families.

“This program really is a grassroots, community helping community initiative that puts our local kids first,” Shari said.

“With general inflation and the cost of living continuing to rise and rise, we know that many families are already struggling to afford the daily essentials, let alone being financially prepared for the huge costs that come with sending a child back to school.

“Couple that with the fact that the current housing crisis is genuinely affecting so many families across our region right now; it’s easy to see that access to affordable school supplies will be needed more in 2023 than we’ve seen before.”

School Savvy families
Shari Jackson, Di Schackow and Robert Sims.

In the three years since School Savvy first opened its doors in Bundaberg, Shari said the program had assisted more than 2,000 children.

The Waves Sports Club, which has been a gold sponsor of School Savvy CQ for the past two years, is one local business that recognises the valuable contribution that School Savvy makes to the local community.

“The Waves is already such a central part of the Bundaberg community, and we place a real emphasis on what we can provide to our local people and our local families,” President Tony Castro said.

“Sponsoring and supporting sports clubs and community activities is something that we have always been proud to be able to do, so when Shari reached out about the opportunity to sponsor School Savvy it was a no-brainer.

“You simply cannot place a price on our kid’s education, so being able to help alleviate some of those financial barriers that prevent a child from engaging at school, or not going to school at all, is something that The Waves are truly proud to support.”

Shari said that Wednesday’s School Savvy 2023 launch highlighted how important School Savvy continued to be for Bundaberg, Gin Gin and Childers families.

“To see everyone here today, back again for another year and talking about how many stories of gratitude they have heard in the last twelve months, from people who School Savvy has assisted, really reinforces why we do what we do,” Shari said.

“We all long for a day where programs like this aren’t necessary, but until that day comes we need to keep banding together as a community to make sure that our kid’s education doesn’t suffer.”

Other stories: Kalkie students team up with Council

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