Sydney boy's kind pocket money gesture amid pandemic goes viral

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·3-min read

Instead of kicking back on the couch and putting his feet up during the school holidays, Jackson Downes committed himself to an important project.

The 12-year-old, from Harrington Park in Sydney’s Macarthur Region, decided that with his $63.80 of pocket money, he would buy groceries and pack meals to donate to people doing it tough.

“He made up the packs in hope that there’d be hungry people that might get a meal, because he’s aware that people have lost their jobs, and some people are sick with COVID-19,” his mum Tracy Downes told Yahoo News Australia.

Jackson’s pocket money was enough to fill 36 breakfast packs, each containing a muesli bar, a single-serve cereal packet, a small milk box, a napkin and a spoon.

Photo shows Jackson Downes at a table with $63.80 worth of packed breakfasts.
Jackson Downes spent $63.80 of his pocket money to buy groceries for 36 meals. Source: Supplied

Jackson and his mum donated half of the packs to the Shining Stars Foundation Street Outreach Service on July 11, and the other half to One Meal - it makes a difference on July 16.

The positive response to Jackson’s selfless act was huge, with many messaging his mum on Facebook and commenting on posts shared by the respective charity groups.

“If there’s one thing he can do to encourage other kids to do the same, then that’s a positive,” Ms Downes said.

She said Jackson was “pretty chuffed” just to drop the breakfast packs off, and when that led to an abundance of praise from people online he was “shocked”.

“The goal wasn’t really to get accolades, it was just to do something nice. All it was, was dropping something off for somebody, and the attention just escalated,” Ms Downes said.

The kind gesture was just the latest in a string of kind acts he and his 14-year-old brother regularly carry out, with them each having a dedicated pocket money jar set aside for charity.

Photo shows Jackson holding a bag containing a muesli bar, cereal pack, milk, a napkin and a spoon.
Jackson packed each bag with a muesli bar, cereal pack, milk, a napkin and a spoon. Source: Supplied

“If you can make a small difference to brighten someone’s day, then that’s what we’ll do,” Ms Downes said.

In response to one of the charity’s Facebook posts, a woman praised Jackson for being “a very kind and thoughtful boy”.

“You are giving good example to other kids Jackson,” she wrote.

“What a thoughtful gesture Jackson! Well done and best wishes for a bright future for you,” someone else wrote.

The Shining Stars Foundation Street Outreach Service wrote that it was “so proud” of Jackson for saving his pocket money to buy the much-needed groceries.

“What a beautiful, giving boy Jackson, we are so proud of you and appreciative of what you have done,” a post to its page read.

“We done Jackson. You have a big heart. I’m sure your family are very proud of you,” a woman responded.

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