The 11-Year-Old Boy With 'A Huge Heart' Raising Millions To Help Our Farmers
Jack Berne might only be 11 but he is one of the country's most successful drought awareness campaigners.
"If we can't grow from our own backyard, we need to do something about it," the 11-year-old told The Project on Thursday.
"We are the future and we have to take care of this world."
After learning about the drought at school, Jack, from the Northern Beaches in Sydney, went from caring about it to taking action, asking his classmates to dress up as farmers and donate $5 to the cause.
“From day one, he’s had a really big heart," Jack's mother, Prue Berne, told The Project.
"He’s a big carer and he has so much empathy for others."
The 'Fiver For A Farmer' campaign soon took off. After raising about $100,000 in less than a week, Jack is now close to $1.6 million.
READ MORE: The Farmer Connecting A Nation
Now, he is bringing back the campaign for a second year to raise more money for those farmers who are still drought-affected.
"They need as much help as they needed last year, if not even more," Jack said.
Almost two-thirds of Queensland and more than half of NSW is still affected by drought conditions.
The tinder-dry conditions in NSW have forced the Rural Fire Brigade to bring forward its bushfire danger period for parts of the state's east coast and Northern Tablelands.
Jack visited farmers in Stanthorpe, a town in Queensland's south-east, where dams are drying up and locals face the prospect of running out of drinking water before Christmas.
Local capsicum farmer George Costanzo has run out of water months before the growing season begins.
"So, does this mean you’re going to grow capsicums this season?" Jack asked.
"No, not enough water," Costanzo replied.
Amid dire conditions, Costanzo said Jack's efforts are not going unnoticed.
“He should be commended for the efforts he has gone through,” he said. “He really is a special little kid. Everyone in the bush appreciates people like him.
"The future is sound with kids like that, it really is.”
Featured image: The Project