Orange Sky volunteer Jeff McKenzie puts young philanthropists Cohen Olsen and Oscar Hamilton to work in the Orange Sky van.
Orange Sky volunteer Jeff McKenzie puts young philanthropists Cohen Olsen and Oscar Hamilton to work in the Orange Sky van.

8-year-old entrepreneurs raise money for great cause

EIGHT-YEAR-OLDS Oscar Hamilton and Cohen Olsen have been friends since they were in Prep and one day they hope to run a business together.

You might think that's cute, but it's legit. The Year 3 St Francis Xavier Catholic school students recently raised more than $500, with the help of their schoolmates, for the charity Orange Sky.

Oscar said he got the idea after he found a compelling book on his teacher Miss Muscat's bookshelf.

"The book is called 101 Ways to Make Money. I found it interesting and showed Cohen," Oscar said.

After Cohen had a read the boys put their heads together. They were stuck on whether to start their own charity or do some fundraising.

"We decided to make it a fundraiser, because we didn't really need any money for ourselves," Cohen said.

"There was this part in the book about how to do a raffle and that's what we decided to do," Oscar said.

The boys then approached their teacher who, along with the help of their parents, set their business plan in motion.

"Our mums helped us organise this big box of snacks, chocolates, games …" Cohen said.

"And a family pack of tickets to the school carnival," Oscar said, finishing Cohen's sentence.

The boys sold the bulk of the tickets during the school's annual Mission Fair and earned an impressive $516 for Orange Sky, a charity that operates a free mobile laundry and shower service for homeless people in the community.

"We wanted to give the money to the poor and Orange Sky helps people who don't have showers or washing machines, so we thought that was good," Cohen said.

Orange Sky volunteer Jeff McKenzie said the donation would be put to good use.

"These vans cost $140,000 to put on the road and once they're on the road it costs a fair bit to maintain them," he said.

"These boys have done a really admirable thing, I'm proud to meet them."

So what's next for the aspiring philanthropists?

"Next year we want to hold another raffle for a different charity," Cohen said.

"And we want to make lots more money," Oscar said, and there can be little doubt they will do just that.


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