MERCURY SERIES - Little People
As bushfires raged through the Blue Mountains in October, a 12-year-old boy saw homes destroyed and decided he had to help.
Thirroul's Alex Williams sent an email to his Bulli Public School principal with three fund-raising ideas.
The lolly guessing competition won out over a raffle or mufti day, and the year 6 school captain bought a jar and counted the lollies.
"It had 679 lollies," he said.
"It was a three-tiered jar, which was perfect, we bought 20 to 30 packets of lollies.
"It's the first time I've ever done a fund-raiser, it was a good experience and a lot of friends helped me."
Every morning from 8.30 to 8.55 and every lunchtime Alex, his brother Dave and various friends took guesses for 50¢.
From the smallest guess of 10 to the outrageous bid of one million, the competition ran for one and a half weeks during November.
The winning guess was 650 and it went to a year 4 student who donated $12.
"I was surprised at how many people went in," Alex said.
"There were even people from the public, parents and a kid from preschool."
Altogether, $232.90 was raised and the funds were split between SchoolAid, for schools affected by the bushfires and the Rural Fire Service.
Principal Rhonda Morton said the success would encourage further good works.
"You look at the satisfaction he got from it," she said.
"He was overwhelmed, he thought he would only get $60 or so."
The youngsters' efforts have earned them a place in the Illawarra Mercury's new story series titled Little People, Big Ideas.
If you know a young person or a group of young people who are worthy of a story, tell us about them.
Submissions to email@example.com.