Jackson Waldon loves Coles Little Shop and Australian farmers.
He is six, almost seven, and proudly presents the set for inspection. It’s an expensive collection of miniature food items when you consider that one Coles Little Shop item required a $30 minimum spend in store.
Jackson’s quest to collect the set became a fun focus of Waldon family shopping trips, and over time they acquired each item but in doing so, they also gathered numerous duplicates as there was no way of seeing what was in each branded foil packet. The acquisition of a Coles Little Shop item was simply a staff lucky dip process at the end of each sale, and consequently, it quickly created a market for swapping or selling duplicates on numerous local buy/swap/sell sites in the region.
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However, Jackson’s desire to help farmers struggling with the financial impact of drought saw him chose to do something different with his duplicates. This week Jackson and his mother, Amy Waldon of Tinonee delivered numerous boxes and bags of non-perishable grocery and household items to Wingham Produce for distribution to farmers. Their huge haul of donated goods is the result of a unique idea – to swap Coles Little Shop items for real grocery items.
Amy says the catalyst for the idea came from Jackson’s wish to do more to help farmers. He attends Taree Christian College and she says that its recent dress-up and fundraising day to raise funds for farmers really impressed on Jackson the need to help people.
“He came home from school quite touched and wanted to do more to help our farmers,” Amy said.
It would have been very easy for me to just give him $20 to meet that need, but then I thought he would not learn anything by doing that, and so I thought about what we could do.Amy Waldon
“We decided that we could swap his spare Coles Little Shop items for real food for the farmers.”
Amy then acted to list the spares on numerous local buy/swap/sell sites and instead of selling them to people for cash, she asked that people donate three non-perishable items per Coles Little Shop item to Jackson and said the goods would be given to farmers.
“Overall I think 90 per cent of people were happy to give items instead of simply just buying the spares from us, and many people said, ‘good on you for helping our farmers’.
“So many people also donated more things than they needed to and it has been a wonderful experience.”
Amy says Jackson came with her to meet many of the people who wanted one of his Coles Little Shop spares and believes “it’s been such a positive experience for him.”
Surprisingly they didn’t count how many items they delivered to the collection point, Wingham Produce, but Amy says “there were just lots of full bags and boxes. I think the guys at Wingham Produce were even a little surprised when we dropped it off.”
“Jackson was really proud when we dropped them off. They were his little shoppers and by doing this he has learned so much more about giving and empathy, it’s been so wonderful.”