The legacy of Billie Kinder lives on, three years after the 12-year-old died in a tragic horse accident in Pitt Town.
As well has inspiring a generation of students with her words and artworks, the charity set up in her name, Fly High Billie, is spreading the kindness message in schools across Australia and overseas with its age-specific “hope” series of B Kinder workbooks.
The gifted student and, talented horse-rider and athlete, had been awarded an academic scholarship to Arndell Anglican College based on her writing ability before the tragic accident which claimed her life.
Her mum Danny, with the help of Billie’s uncle and a friend collected Billie’s poems, artworks and stories and put together a book called “hope”.
More than 6000 copies have been sold so far.
“Billie always said she wanted to write a book,” says Danny Mayson-Kinder, “and it became an obsession with me. I had to put the book together.
“With Billie’s words we have been given the gift of viewing this world through the eyes of a beautiful caring soul, the eyes of innocence, belief and hope.”
It was after publishing the book that Danny saw a real need to produce an interactive workbook to enable youngsters to work through the need for kindness, compassion and empathy in a bid to combat bullying and anxiety and suicide.
The B Kinder Workbooks ask students questions and use Billie’s own words and drawings to provide examples of kindness.
“It is written by a child so the children really get it,” said Danny. “There is nothing out there like it.
“They are full of positive messages to inspire children to realise that they too have the ability to make a difference by just being kind.”
The hope is to involve all schools across Australia
“The 2020 NSW Curriculum will see a huge emphasis on mental health and wellbeing. The B Kinder Workbooks are unique, timely and align perfectly with the PDHPE curriculum,” said Danny.
B KINDER DAY
The Kinder family has since established the annual B Kinder Day (based on Billie’s name) on June 22.
The first B Kinder Day in 2018 involved four schools, including Billie’s former school Arndell Anglican College.
This year’s event involved 40 schools and businesses including Pitt Town Early learning Centre, Glenhaven Public School, Kenthurst pre-School, Arndell Anglican College plus several Windsor businesses.
On B Kinder Day students, businesses, organisations and community groups purchased a Fly High Billie greeting card (featuring one of Billie’s artworks) and wrote and drew pictures in it to give to someone they cared about.
“This year more than 8,500 of Billie’s greeting cards went out on B Kinder day,” said Danny.
There was also a B Kinder Day fundraiser, The B Kinder Night of Hope dinner which was attended by over 220 people at Hawkesbury Racecourse which raised $25,000.
All the money raised by the sale of the B Kinder workbooks, greeting cards and the hope book are donated to charities helping children with physical and mental health issues.
“So far Fly High Billie has donated $116,000 since it was set up to various charities that Billie would have been passionate about,” said Danny.
Recipients include the Feel the Magic camps for children who have lost a sibling; Bear Cottage, the hospice for terminally ill children; therapy dogs through Assistance Dogs Australia and the All Kids Medical Aid program in Cambodia.
To find out more about the hope books or B Kinder day visit flyhighbillie.com