Published in The Sun-Herald on July 3, 2016
Lennon Maher is only seven years old, but he is already working towards a better world.
Last year, Lennon saw on the news that children in impoverished countries have to walk long distances to school, often in dangerous conditions.
“It felt unfair that they have to walk and we can drive. I thought, why can’t they ride?” he said.
He discovered that many families have no access to transportation.
Lennon, who was then six, decided to team up with charity ChildFund and raise money to buy bikes for children in rural Cambodia.
He walked four kilometres home from school once a week and ended up raising $5000 for ChildFund, the equivalent of 50 bikes.
Lennon was awarded JustGiving’s Fundraiser of the Year as a result, which he said made him feel really proud.
When Lennon isn’t helping people, he loves to play with his large Lego collection – but he doesn’t take his toys or his family’s status lightly.
“I’ve been to Japan, I’ve been to Fiji, I’ve been to lots of different countries,” he said.
“I’ve been to Disneyland and that doesn’t feel right because other people won’t ever be able to.”
This year, Lennon is running the 14-kilometre Sun-Herald City2Surf, presented by Westpac, to raise even more for ChildFund.
The money will be used to buy wheelchairs for children with disabilities in Sri Lanka.
“Wheelchairs are expensive and hard to get, so it’s even more unfair,” said Lennon.
“I’ve already done one good thing, so I want to do more good things.”
So far, he has raised $500 – enough to support one child.
Lennon said he’s excited to do the City2Surf because he gets to run alongside his whole family.
This year, more than 80,000 participants are expected to join the run. The aim is to raise $5 million to beat last year’s final amount of $4.2 million for charity.
“I usually walk, but I will try to run – even though it will hurt my legs more,” he said.
The Sun-Herald City2Surf is on August 14, 2016.
Register online at: city2surf.com.au