An Aquinas College student’s initiative and willingness to help others has benefitted Perth’s homeless community.

Jack Sheppard’s idea to set up a fundraising event and sell home-cooked cookies led to a donation of $850 to St Bartholomew’s House. The charity published the following article on its website about Jack and his mum’s work to fundraise for the organisation;

As Jack was waiting for his mum to finish work one day at their nearby office, she explained that the women they saw across the road were being supported by St Bart’s because they were experiencing homelessness.

“I knew about homelessness because we learnt about it at school, but I didn’t understand what it meant and how important services like St Bart’s are in helping people find their way back to a home,” says Jack.

Coming from a family that loves to bake, Jack – an Aquinas College student – asked his mum if he could bake some cookies for the ladies. A further brainstorm led them to the creation of a fundraising event that saw them raise a hugely impressive $850 for St Bart’s!

What is equally rewarding was hearing how Jack’s mum wanted to find a way to encourage the kindness in our children in a society where it is not easy to find opportunities for them to help when they are young. What a team they make!

Read on for our interview with Jack…

What was your initial reaction when hearing about us?

I was shocked by the amount of people who do not currently have a home. I felt upset for them not having a home because they may feel scared or lost not knowing what to do. I felt happy when I read about your services and that you help people in need.

How did your mum help influence your decision to create the fundraiser for St Bart’s?
I like baking cookies because they are fun and easy to bake and they taste great. I asked my Mum if we could bake cookies for the ladies across the road. She called St Bart’s for me and while we were trying to donate cookies, we realised that raising money would be more helpful. We checked if we could sell cookies in our car park with the City of Perth and they approved the event. We sent out invitations and started an Instagram page. We started to get orders which was really exciting.

What was your initial estimate for the fundraiser?
Our initial goal was to raise at least $400. We raised $850.

How has the experience helped to broaden or change your perception of homelessness?
I always thought people who were homeless were those who lived on the street. I didn’t know there were so many people who didn’t have a permanent home. If there was no help for people in need of a permanent home, it would be really difficult for them to change their situation.

What do you hope to do once you finish school?
I know I want to help people when I finish school.

By the way, the Choc Brownie and Oatmeal Raisin cookies were all plant based and low allergy, and utterly delicious! Be sure to follow Jack on Instagram: @jackscreativekitchen and his mum @rawcrush.