The Petrucco family is an ordinary family who has just undertaken a most extraordinary adventure - walking 800km from the west coast of India to the east coast in support of ChildFund Australia.
For six weeks over December and January, three generations of the Petrucco family (aged 3 to 64) - plus two family friends - formed a walk team that started from Kozhikode in the west to Chennai in the east, to raise awareness and much-needed funds for children living in poverty. They even became minor celebrities in India with hundreds of locals joining them along the way and close to 100 media stories covering their journey!
Through this Coast to Coast challenge, the Melbourne family has raised more than $55,000 for ChildFund Australia to support vulnerable children in India. They have also decided to sponsor a child, Mary, who they met during their visit.
"We just had that sense of wanting to make a bigger contribution and wanting to do something extraordinary," says dad Nick Petrucco. "So we came up with this idea of really stepping up our efforts to raise awareness and funds for kids, and then that became: 'Let's walk across India!'"
So what's Nick's advice to people who are inspired by their story? "Our family has two favourite quotes: ÔBe the change that you want to see in the world' and ÔNo one can do everything but everyone can do something'. We just decided to do something. It's easy to get lost in the enormity of an issue like child poverty but once we started putting our energy into it, it was amazing how it came together.
"A lot of families won't be able to fly to India and do what we did but most families could make contributions through something like child sponsorship. And you can write to that child and see that child grow up. It's so nice to have that connection - this is actually a relationship you can form with that child and their family that can last for years."
For more information about sponsoring a child, click here.
Feeling inspired? Check out this video!