Jai Johns puts together packs for the homeless through A Little Helping Hand
[July 2, 2021: Ellie Mitchell]
A LITTLE HELPING HAND: Jai Johns considered what people would need when putting together his packs for homeless people. Photo: Adam Trafford.
When seven-year-old Jai Johns saw people struggling on the street as he left the local supermarket, he was spurred to act.
He brainstormed some basic items homeless people may need, and from there his charity - A Little Helping Hand - was born.
"It could be really cold at night, that's the handwarmers, same with socks, tissues are for if they cut themselves, two bottles [of shampoo and conditioner] to have a shower with, and they can brush their teeth," he said.
The packs also contain two muesli bars, wet wipes, and gloves, and are carefully packed by Jai in to a new toiletries bag.
Jai's mum Kirsty Johns said her son was a natural helper with "a heart of gold".
"Even as a younger kid, if someone else fell over, he'd be the first one there. At school, all his reports are that once he finishes his work, he quickly goes and helps others," she said.
Donations have steadily grown from family, friends and strangers since Jai's project was started in May, with sharing on community Facebook groups the primary tool used to "get the word out".
The packs cost $25 to put together.
Once a donation is received, Jai goes shopping for the items, then compiles them to be sent on to bigger charitable organisations.
At the moment packs from A Little Helping Hand are being donated to Breezeway in Ballarat, Victoria.
To everyone who has donated or shared his page, Jai has two words: "thank you".
The year two pupil plans to branch out to create packs for other charities, like the Salvation Army's upcoming Winter Appeal and the Smith Family.
Not only this, Jai hopes to create other packs for specific groups such as school packs for students in need, and baby packs for new mothers.
This is not Jai's first foray into charitable work, in past years he has crocheted beanies with his grandmother for donation to Ballarat's Base Hospital and the Royal Children's Hospital.
If you would like to donate to A Little Helping Hand, please visit the Facebook page.
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