Boy Makes Jam #boymakesjam
At the tender age of 10, Benjamin asked his parents if he could make jam. For him, it was the perfect combination of his two great loves - fruit and sugar! It was a defining moment for a young boy who had just been told he had a genetic condition called Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). Born with this condition meant that his journey through school and all it entailed, would bring added challenges and difficulties for Benjamin. Normal school hurdles took on an extra effort for him. Making jams allowed him to feel competent, remarkable and most of all - happy!
For years, Benjamin made his jams as gifts for family, friends and his supportive teachers.
Eventually, Benjamin suggested that he could 'sell' his jams and raise money for charities. His parents suggested perhaps helping children who also experienced trials and challenges throughout their school life. He chose to help the poorest school children from his mother's birth country, Timor Leste. With the help of the charity Mary MacKillop Today, Benjamin donated his money to helping to resources poor schools in this tiny island nation. This drive to help children and schools who struggle to provide properly trained teachers, basic stationery, classroom furniture and food, still motivates Benjamin to make his jams.
Doing something for others puts your own challenges into perspective. Benjamin has leaned that helping others to achieve, allows you to achieve. It is fair to say, he and his family have derived as much pleasure from his fundraising as those who hopefully benefit from the use of the funds raised.
Benjamin continues to dedicate his time to making jams and raising money for these children...and will continue to do so in his bright foreseeable future. It is defined by his motto "Make Jam With Purpose".