Pot plants to fire fund

Ruby, Lawson and Holland. (Damjan Janevski)

By Jessica Micallef

A family camping trip has encouraged three children to plant a seed of hope for those in despair.

Gisborne children Ruby, 10, Holland, 7, and Lawson, 4, spent a few days during their school holidays selling pot plants outside their home in a bid to raise money for the Victorian Bushfire Appeal.

Mum Kallee Ruscoe said her family was camping in Wangaratta earlier this month when residents and visitors from nearby bushfire-affected towns were being evacuated
to Wangaratta.

“My children got to see first-hand what was happening in regards to people evacuating and having to bring their stuff,” she said.

“My youngest Lawson, who is four, ended up in hospital with breathing problems because of
the smoke.”

When the family returned home to Gisborne, the children decided to set up a roadside shop
outside their home, selling pot plants from their own garden.

“They set up a shop last Wednesday [January 8] and they were out there Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, in the heat,” Ms Ruscoe said. “We’re on a few acres and we’ve got some daisies so they’ve been digging them out of the garden and they were watering them and looking after them.

“I was very proud of them. They were waving at every car to try and stop them. They raised $250 in three days.

“Some people donated a few dollars because they didn’t want a plant. We sold about 50

Ms Ruscoe said her children’s fundraising efforts had encouraged their friends to follow in their footsteps.

“A lot of their friends saw it on Facebook and were aware of what was happening. One of their friends sold cookies and raised about $90, so I think it spurred some of the friends to do a few similar things,” she said. “We’re just really proud of them. If it encourages people to donate or themselves raise some funds then that’s really good.”