Ballarat's limitless generosity still surprises Jake Sbardella.
This Christmas season he got just within sight of donating $20,000 to Ballarat charities with the proceeds - but not without a few worries as the coronavirus pandemic struck.
At a time when more people than ever were struggling and needing help, the main way he sells his calendars - packed Christmas markets - weren't running.
He turned to his now-dedicated online followers, who pitched in to raise thousands of dollars, and handed some out to sell at gift shops across the city.
He and his grandpa also put together Christmas trees made from wooden pallets, which proved immensely popular.
Ever-humble, young Jake said he was looking forward to handing over this year's haul to the charities this weekend.
"We weren't sure how much we'd be able to sell, but we sold a good amount," he said.
"We've found out more ways we can help - when we started, we didn't know."
His proud mum, Emma, said many of the agencies and organisations they were supporting were facing much higher demand than usual, like Uniting and the Soup Bus.
"This year, it's worse than ever - people might not be homeless but they've lost their jobs and they're still struggling," she said.
"If you're in a position to be able to help, you feel like helping more now than ever.
"We've got significant relationships with these organisations now, and cash is what they need most - last year Jake donated tents and sleeping bags to Uniting.
"When we contacted them this year, they said people need food, so they've requested vouchers for supermarkets that they can hand out to families or to people in need."
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"We're not experts in this, we don't know what to do, this is a way that Jake's invented to raise some money and give it to the organisations who know what to do," Ms Sbardella said.
"It's a way of helping them out, and creating a project that spreads happiness, that was his goal from the start, and it hasn't changed - he's just grown a bit taller."
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