Parcels of Hope

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HOW BUS QUEENSLAND HELPED A BRISBANE BOY BRING HOPE TO OUTBACK CHILDREN

The Parcels of Hope is a community drought relief project for Outback Queensland kids.

When 5-year-old Brisbane boy Sabre Fazel saw farmers struggling in the drought, he wanted to help. He realised that lots of drought relief was to help farmers and livestock – but what about country kids?

In a few short weeks, Sabre’s idea had grown from one letter and toy for a child from a farming family, to an operation of hope that needed the grunt of Queensland’s premier transport company.

Sabre’s mother, Sarah Yip, says sometimes it takes a child to see what other children might need.

“I encouraged him to write some letters, but he quickly realised there were lots of Outback kids who needed something to brighten their day. He asked if we could get more kids to write letters, and it snowballed from there.”

Getting others on board

Sarah started by asking local schools and early learning centres to write letters or draw a picture, and place it in an envelope with a small gift.

“We included a return envelope so the country kids could write back. Sabre and all the children involved were determined to show farm children that ‘city’ kids care,” she says.

Momentum built quickly for the project, and the School of Distance Education in Longreach and Charleville came on board to help distribute the Parcels of Hope to children on isolated drought-affected properties.

“The response has been overwhelming. We were receiving up to 50 parcels each day and have over 200 in total,” Sarah says.

“People are truly generous! Some decorated boxes for the kids, included gifts for their mums and dads, and donated food hampers to be distributed via St Vincent de Paul.”

A helping hand from Bus Queensland

The next step was getting the parcels from Brisbane to Longreach.

Bus Queensland Managing Director, Adam Pulitano, said the company was proud to throw its support behind farmers and regional communities by volunteering to get the parcels to Longreach from Brisbane on their outback service.

“We were thrilled when Sabre and his mum Sarah asked us for a helping hand. There was no question we’d get involved to get the Parcels of Hope where they’re needed,” he says.

Sarah says the support from Bus Queensland means the world to Sabre and his family.

“They’ve been fabulous. We weren’t sure how we were going to pay to transport the parcels, and cash donations weren’t an option as we’re not a registered charity. Bus Queensland’s involvement is just one more way that this project has brought the community together and shown kids what caring for each other looks like.”

Connecting the community

Adam Pulitano says while Bus Queensland operates a fleet of 414 buses, there’s something extra special about the long distance bus loaded with Parcels of Hope.

“Connecting the community is what we do, so it’s amazing to be part of an initiative that started with a simple idea from one small boy. Our staff have loved being involved in putting smiles on Outback kids’ faces.”

Follow Sabre’s journey to hand deliver Parcels of Hope via the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Citytocountryboxesofhope/

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Janet Edwards