Students from four schools across Orange have raised over $5000 for Housing Plus' new domestic violence shelter The Orchard.
Students from Orange High School, Kinross Wolaroi School, James Sheahan Catholic High School and Orange Christian School all came together at a student body level to raise money to show the resilience and strength of the Orange community at the height of the pandemic.
With fundraising screeching to a halt across the city due to restrictions on people coming together, schools decided to take advantage of having their cohorts back in the classroom to raise money for a good cause.
Orange High School captain Mitch Cooper said after coming together and brainstorming ideas, the students from the four schools decided to donate to the soon-to-be-opened facility.
"We're pretty stoked," he said of the fundraising effort.
"I think as a community it shows how resilient we are especially during this time and I think we're pretty amazed by how much the schools have got together and how much we've raised."
He said students had tried to stay in contact "as much as we could" across schools.
"It shows how big of a community we are and how connected we are," Mr Cooper said.
"Our original aim was $3000 and we only gave ourselves 10 weeks to due it, and during COVID it was hard to have too much fundraising going on but to get five grand in 10 weeks is pretty unreal."
Housing Plus fundraising coordinator Rochelle Monaghan said it was "pretty amazing" to have the donation come in.
"They only had one term to raise it so it's pretty amazing," she said.
"It's impressive to raise that sort of money and I love the idea the high schools have come together to raise it.
"It makes it a really significant donation in we can make a big impact in The Orchard."
She said she and students had discussed how they wanted the money spent, and while it would still need to be finalised there was potential to use in on equipment for the IT and homework lab enabling children without computers to do their own work at the facility.
"We're also talking about purchasing some furniture for the kids' playroom," Mrs Monaghan said.
"We've had book and toys donated but don't have anywhere to put them. These are permanent items that will stay in The Orchard and is a way to recognise the fundraising done."
She said it felt incredible to have the students pick Housing Plus to donate to, with the centre to open in coming months.
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