Fortunate Footy Cards: by Kids, for Kids

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Aiden King (aged 11) attends the King David School in Armadale, Victoria. Like many other primary schools around Australia, footy fever runs high. At the beginning of 2014, students at his school started their year-long hobby of collecting AFL TeamCoach cards. This is where Aiden's innovative idea for a charity – Fortunate Footy Cards – came from.  

Aiden saw that, even after trading cards with his friends, he still had a lot of duplicates. Some students had their parents buy a box of the cards at a time, which always contained doubles and triples of cards. Aiden decided to spread the word about collecting these cards and donating them to children less fortunate.  

“It made me really sad to think that some kids couldn’t afford any footy cards,” he said. “And it is such a waste to throw out perfectly good cards.”

In that first year, Aiden collected almost 3,000 cards!  He and his younger sister and brother sorted them into 330 individual packs and donated them to Ardoch Youth Foundation to distribute to their partner schools.  The manufacturer of AFL TeamCoach cards, Team Zone, even donated 50 albums as well.

This year, Aiden is at it again. However, in 2015, he has greater ambitions.

“I want to collect cards at more schools in Melbourne this year. Also, I’m going to get my cousins in Perth and Sydney to help. We are going to make collection boxes and posters, and send emails and use a Facebook page.”

Ardoch Youth Foundation is on board again, as is Team Zone.  Aiden will also receive assistance from The Smith Family, who will distribute the cards to children from disadvantaged families who are supported by its national Learning for Life program.

Aiden has also supported The Smith Family by raising funds as a participant in Around the Bay, Australia’s largest bike ride. Aiden is one of the youngest participants in the one-day bike challenge and is planning to raise even more funds for children in need this year.

Although he may be young, Aiden has taught many adults that charity rewards both the giver and the recipient. 

“It makes me feel happy to do the right thing, and to help people have something to look forward to.”

If you want to start a Fortunate Footy Cards collection at your school, visit the Fortunate Footy Cards Facebook page, or email fortunatefootycards@gmail.com for a starter kit and more information.

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