Oscar Broad is living proof that one person, however young, can make a difference.
The precocious 12-year-old is spearheading a social media driven initiative to assist with the welfare of Ballarat’s underprivileged and homeless.
Just months after making a considerable donation of cans to the Ballarat SoupBus, Oscar has started a community Facebook page named “It’s up to you”, which appeals for the donation of clothes for those still reeling from wintry Ballarat conditions.
While the cause is no doubt important, Oscar says the message must also be absorbed.
“It’s not entirely up to me – it’s up to you as well,” he said.
“We need to make the message bigger and make people more aware of it (the struggles the homeless face).”
Oscar will hand over a significant number of socks (all new) to the Eureka Mums program in the coming weeks to be distributed among those in need.
In the latest Facebook post on August 8, Oscar wrote that the cause had gathered 216 pairs of socks, more than 50 soup cans, four pairs of gloves, two jumpers, three scarves and two blankets alongside much needed milk cartons.
The goods will be distributed to Eureka Mums, the Ballarat SoupBus and the pop-up shop for homeless.
However, Oscar’s steely determination has him already planning a number of other welfare-based initiatives, including a not-for-profit fair and family budget week.
Eureka Mums founder Erin Malone said it is encouraging to see Ballarat’s younger generations sharing the load.
“It’s nice to see young people who care about the community,” Ms Malone said.
“We’ve collected over 700 coats this year, but in Ballarat warm clothes are always needed.”
Ms Malone said role models such as Oscar go a long way to informing younger generations about the struggles the underprivileged and homeless face.
“It’s a really lovely way for kids to learn empathy for other children that aren’t as fortunate as them,” she said.
“It doesn’t have to be hundreds of dollars, it can just be something as simple as socks.”
Oscar plans to keep giving back to society in any way he can and hopes to be able to one day drive the bus around Ballarat.
Oscar is always looking for more donations. Details can be found on the Facebook page, with drop offs at the Ballarat West and Creswick post offices welcome.