THE LOSS of two crops of pumpkins has not stopped kids and volunteers from Pathfinders from pulling together another successful run.
Donations from across the region of all kinds of pumpkins are on their way to homeless people in Sydney and Newcastle.
Pathfinders CEO Alan Brennan it was important for the kids in residential out-of-home and foster care to learn to give back.
“This year our crop failed, despite a huge effort with a lot of people we lost our pumpkins,” he said.
“We decided, because the pumpkins are about generosity, it’s giving away without any expectation of a return – so we asked for donations.
"When any individual gets to that point in their life, that can be a really beneficial state of mind to be in – to give away and not expect something back.”
The pumpkin run delivers pumpkins to the Mission in Newtown and Soul Cafe in Newcastle, where volunteers make and serve pumpkin soup to the homeless.
Pathfinders is a not-for-profit company that runs a number of programs that promote youth and family welfare.
“A number of people in those programs are participating in the pumpkin run this year,” Mr Brennan said.
“The idea came about when we had a fantastic crop of pumpkins at Tilbuster Station a few years ago and we had ample for us, but wondered what we would do with the rest.
“We decided we would give them away, it’s led to a really big operation and OzHarvest helps us now.”
Mr Brennan said the pumpkin itself ignites a feeling in people.
“When you grow something, even as simple as this, and a young person is involved and they’re growing, harvesting, cultivating and delivering – that’s about belonging,” he said.
“They feel part of something, they learn and develop a mastery in a small part of agriculture.
“Even just the loss of our crop, it’s about finding a way around the problem.”
The pumpkin run hit the road on Monday, it will go to Newcastle and then head to Sydney.