It was 2020 and the peak of COVID was hitting the country when Charlie Murrihy took a spontaneous shopping trip and noticed the K-Mart wishing tree. Not knowing what it was, Charlie questioned her mum, Jody, who told her that it was to give presents to kids in need at Christmas. This was all it took for Charlie to start her plan to help local Logan kids.
Her first year was unplanned and instinctive, doing what she could to get as many gifts as possible to put under the wishing tree. For her next year, Charlie, on advice from Cr Mindy Russell, got in touch with Logan East Community Neighbourhood Centre to see if she could help their annual appeal.
2021, Charlie had more time to plan on how she could raise the most money.
“I found it really successful to recycle cans and bottles, as they really add up quickly,” said Charlie.
“Last year I raised close to $800 and this year I’m hoping to get to the $1,000 mark.
“We reached out to the community centre because with the K-Mart tree we weren’t really sure where they were going, but with the community centre we knew they were going to local families that needed presents.”
All the money raised from the can deposits and donations goes directly to buy presents to donate. When Charlie teamed up with the community centre, they advised her what they were looking for and while every donation is a blessing, Charlie is working on getting what is needed.
“To raise money, we are still doing the cans and this year we are starting midyear so that we can reach our target and make it bigger and better,” Charlie said.
“We are looking more for gifts mainly, but cans or money will help. The gifts we need are like unisex stuff, boy and girl things and more so items for teenage boys as that is needed most.”
Charlie attends Kimberley Park State School and is in Year 6 and has a love of science. When asked if she had any thoughts on what she wanted to do when she finishes school, she was quick to answer.
“I want to be a doctor/scientist and find the cure for cancer as it has always been my life goal.”
When not at school or fundraising, Charlie can be found walking her Chihuahua puppy, Prince, around the neighbourhood. She also has a love for the sport of netball. This year Charlie made the Underwood under 12 representative team.
Jody is a proud mum and Charlie’s biggest supporter and is helping her make all this happen.
“I’m a taxi driver to get Charlie everywhere and her Facebook manager,” said Jody.
“It’s great to see kids still doing their part for society and wanting to help others; it truly is a dying trait.
Charlie is not alone in her fundraising effort as her mum and grandparents are helping where they can.
“At this point family are the main helpers, although her brothers are not as into it as Charlie, and of course the local community helping with donations,” said Jody.
The Logan community is strong and always get behind fundraisers, even if the community is hurting. Starting now, Charlie has a good plan set for the year to reach her target of $1,000 to buy gifts.
In May, the family held a garage sale with proceeds going towards the fundraising. This sale netted the team close to $200 to start off their campaign.
“The garage sale was a success, and we had some lovely donations and raised close to $200 which is a good start for Christmas time,” said Charlie.
During the last Federal election, Charlie was rubbing shoulders with her local member and telling him all about what she is doing. Helping hand out flyers for him, Charlie and Jody were invited to the campaign evening to watch all the votes and talk to people in attendance. Charlie even made an appearance on TV, albeit in the background waving.
From the first day of seeing and learning about the wishing tree, Charlie has been passionate about helping the children of Logan.
“If I was in their shoes, I wouldn’t like to not get any presents and would be pretty sad because Christmas is all about giving and it is just a nice thing and doing a good deed,” said Charlie.
If you would like to donate and help Charlie, contact Jody on 0439 717 929.