Lennon walks so other children can ride
Little Lennon Maher from Sydney’s west is not what we would call your average six-year-old! Lennon has decided to walk 3.8km home from school, once a week for the entire school term, to raise funds for ChildFund Australia’s Dream Bike Appeal, providing children in developing countries with a life-changing gift of a bike so they can get to school more easily.
Rain, Sydney storm (remember that week? Yep, they walked!) or shine, you can find Lennon and his mum, Cathy, on their journey home from school. On their practice walk it took the pair one hour and one minute but Cathy reports the time it takes them to complete the walk seems to get longer each week! Altogether Lennon will walk 38km over the 10-week term in his quest to raise funds for more bikes.
“His dad and I are just really proud of him. I am quite surprised that he is still doing it and hasn’t complained about it at all,” says Cathy. “I expected that he would probably get over it but every week he asks me, “What day are we going to do our walk this week?” or when I pick him up he will say, “Are we walking today?” It is lovely to see that he is excited about it and that he is proud of himself.”
Lennon is not just helping children living in developing countries, he’s inspiring action in his own community here in Sydney too. While his weekly walk started with just him and his mum playing “guess the…” games along the way, his entourage has steadily increased. To date, his walking buddies have included his baby sister in the pram, Aunty Shai and his Year One teacher from school – and Lennon’s final walk just so happens to be his seventh birthday so lots of his school friends are joining in to help him celebrate.
“I am pleased that he has this opportunity to think outside his own little world; that he is getting to see a bigger picture than toys and TV and playing games,” says Cathy. “I hope that will continue to happen and if it does, I know it will open opportunities for him in the future.”
We chatted with Lennon to find out all about his ginormous challenge and what it means to him…
What made you decide to take on this big challenge, Lennon?
Because I wanted to make some kids be safer to get to school.
How does it make you feel to know that you are helping other kids?
It makes me feel good when I do my walks. It makes me feel like I am a nice person.
3.8km is a really long way. Do you find the walk hard?
No, well sometimes it is hard. One day it rained – that was kind of funny but it was a bit not happy.
You’ve already raised over $2,000. How many bikes do you hope to provide?
Every time we get $99 we get one bike! We already have 20. I want to raise ummmm… infinity bikes! Actually, I think 10,000.
So Lennon, what would you like to be when you’re older?
Make a company of fundraising and do some other jobs.
Maybe one day I will come work for you then?
I would like that.
From the whole team at ChildFund Australia, we want to thank Lennon for his incredible generosity and commitment to children in need around the world.