Country music artist Jason Owen's charity inundated with requests for help from rural communities

Country music artist Jason Owen's charity inundated with requests for help from rural communities

A charity benefitting rural Australian children – many in remote, small country towns and farming communities – has been completely swamped this year by requests for help from rural communities in need.

Doin it for Rural Aussie Kids, set up just over a year ago by country music artist Jason Owen, has received more than 1,000 nominations from families, schools and communities asking to be considered for the charity’s yearly appeal.

Owen will now embark on an epic drive on December 6 covering 8,000 kms in 10 days across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia (in line with restrictions). He will personally deliver funds, toys, gifts and groceries to around 800 children at schools and residences, supporting local businesses along the way. Having had to cancel his wedding this year to fiancé Becy due to COVID-19 restrictions, Owen was meant to be on his honeymoon at time, but instead will be embarking on the challenging road trip with his mother Patty.

Money has been collected so far through various successful fundraisers including one at Wongarbon and Coins for Santa Sacks schools’ initiative, with goods donated by sponsors including Coles, Big W, Officeworks, Bunnings and Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Owen and his fiancé Becy have now been hand wrapping hundreds of gifts for months in preparation at their home in Gosford.

“Last year (2019) we received around 100 nominations and visited 250 kids across a much smaller area,” Owen said. “At that point the charity had only been going a few months and whilst communities were suffering through the drought, the bushfires and COVID-19 hadn’t hit yet. This year it’s a completely different story.”

As part of the initiative, the 26-year-old has released a cover of the John Lennon classic So This Is Christmas to help raise further funds for the appeal. The video for the song features footage from last year’s appeal of children unwrapping presents.

Source: Doin it for Rural Aussie Kids