By this point in the establishment of the chapter I am unsure exactly who you are, and though I assume you are simply other Deluminators members curious as to how i will report the things you already know are happening - I am holding out for the off-chance of someone completely new reading this post and being interested by what I am saying.
When we first begun planning for Accio Books, one of my original thoughts was to bring the book drive to my school. I have watched over the years as countless fundraisers have been implemented by various Houses or SRC committees - all aimed at raising money, and frankly that annoyed me.
Whilst the essential foundation behind a charity is often the gathering of money, the inability for these campaigns to connect with the actual reason that they were collecting money baffled me. It was simply a case of taking $2 out of our school accounts and letting us wear mufti...without anyone being much aware of the process.
Going all the way back to December last year, this is why I wanted to start a Sydney Chapter. I have always known that I wanted a chance to imagine better for the world, and try and improve the standards of living for so many, yet I never connected with any school campaign because people simply didn't want to know...because it didn't affect them. After three years of struggling with this idea, I came across the HPA and it is everything I could have dreamed it would be. We are not just a group of Harry Potter Nerds with free time. We are a demographic of people who legitimately care about the issues we are fighting for. Yet at the same time we are using a medium through which more young people can feel passionate - and understand the achievements and goals of our endeavours.
So obviously, nothing gave me greater pleasure than being able to approach my new Head of School and ask him if I could bring Accio book to Barker. With slight apprehension that he would think it was some sort of joke, i waited. The response I received could not have been better. I was given permission for 9 speeches in assemblies from K-12 over the course of the week. The front page of the School Newsletter was dedicated to me and the book drive. And 3 different rooms around the school were left for me to set up collection points.
(Though there was a slight problem when i fell sick for the last two days of the week and had to find friends to fill in for 3 speeches - thank you to all those amazing people for stepping up with only a script and a vague idea of your friends nerdy charity)
Now here I am, sitting two weeks later surrounded by a pile of books higher than my seated head. And more than half of them are from Barker alone.
In my four years at this school, never have i felt more proud of my peers or my friends for making such a conscious effort to help out people in need.
And that is not including all the people that have told me they are bringing in more books next term, or that they had too many books to bring into school in one day, so they will drop them at my house.
Though actually getting all the books from the school was a struggle. I didn't exactly think through the logistics beforehand and only brought 5 suitcases. A problem that wasn't helped by the fact that it was bucketing rain and my mother has a bad back and so couldn't help.
An hour and a half - a very sore neck from holding an umbrella beneath my chin - and a car boot-ful later. All the books were safe and dry.
I met up with Zoe back at home, who helped me count all the books - we counted out around 800. And after I had left home to go out that night and Zoe had already made a facebook status, she uncovered another suitcase. Oh well - at least it's more books.
Thank you to everyone who donated from Barker, you are all amazing!