Students share stories of compassion

October 24, 2021 BY

Calendars and happiness: Jake Sbardella is one of Ballarat’s compassionate young people that inspired the initiative. Photo: FILE

IN partnership with Compassionate Ballarat, Loreto College students Eliza McCrum and Chloe Stevens have published a book.

Compassion Heroes Ballarat has been developed by the year 12 pupils within the community service component of their religious education class.

The stories of ten compassionate local children and young people between the ages of seven and 18 have been presented within the publication.

“There’s a big range of kids who’ve taken the initiative to do something in the community; people who’ve volunteered with the elderly, have made masks, or volunteered with an animal shelter,” Eliza said.

Compassion Heroes Ballarat is a free book, available via Compassionate Ballarat’s website. Image: SUPPLIED

Chloe said amongst the difficulties of the last two years, compassion was not always at the fore of the news and broader media, so with the book, they strove to “highlight the compassion that is happening around us that so many people don’t get the opportunity to see.”

Compassionate Ballarat’s Denise White said the steering group has had a goal to create a publication like this over the last three years, initially inspired by school-aged young people “doing amazing things.”

“The first one we came across in 2018 at the Compassion Walk around the lake was Ailish Ryan who has a Sunshine Letterbox and encourages people to write beautiful letters to the homeless, to let them know people are thinking of them,” she said.

“We sponsor the Youth Awards. Ethan Sculley came to our attention for winning the 2020 Compassion and Care Award. We also came in touch with Jake Sbardella who has raised thousands of dollars for The SoupBus through Happiness Advent Calendars.

“We thought, there’s got to be more in the community, so why don’t we make a booklet.”

Connecting with Loreto College’s religious education department, the steering group thought this would be an ideal project for the school’s students to work on.

The 33-page book was launched last month in line with the international Charter for Compassion.

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