Just 11 Years Old, But Already A Very Polished Man
Jackson raised over 40 grand to help fight violence against children
This October, men including Chris and Liam Hemsworth, Zac Efron, Vance Joy, and The Project’s own Tommy Little, Lehmo and Dave Thornton, will be painting one fingernail.
They’re all ambassadors for Polished Man, an annual campaign to raise money to fight violence against children. But it’s the charity’s youngest ambassador who has had the greatest impact.
Jackson Saunders is just 11 years old, but he’s already raised over $43,000 this year for the charity. And having experienced bullying himself, he’s now driven to make life easier for other kids.
“A couple of years ago I was having a rough time at school,” Jackson tells Tommy on The Project tonight. “I was trying to stick up for kids that were being bullied by others but that made me the victim and eventually I came to the point where I didn’t even want to be alive anymore.”
Fortunately Jackson’s parents intervened and found him help. He changed schools, made some new friends, and found a positive focus for his passion for helping others.
To help raise money for his Polished Man campaign, Jackson runs auctions, parties, and even runs a nail bar at his school.
And it’s making a huge difference. Polished Man’s goal for this year is to raise $1.7 million. And Jackson’s well on his way to his own goal of $50,000, which would be about a thirtieth of the campaign’s goal all on his own.
The Polished Man campaign was set up by ygap cofounder Elliot Costello after visiting Cambodia, where he met a young girl who painted his nails. He later discovered that she had been subjected to horrific violence, and vowed to paint one nail to remember her.
When he learnt the shocking statistic that one child dies from violence around the world every five minutes, Elliot set up Polished Man to spark conversations and raise cash for trauma prevention and recovery for kids in crisis.
And thanks to ambassadors like Jackson, and other participants, this month looks like it could really make a difference.
To donate to Jackson's campaign, visit his Polished Man page.
If this story has raised any issues for you, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.