Not only do I want to raise awareness around the severity of the drought and the impact it has on families in rural areas, but I want to inspire these kids by sharing my story with them...Jason Owen
X-Factor 2012 runner up Jason Owen grew up in a small farming society 123.8 km west of Dubbo called Albert, and attended school in Tottenham before moving to Narromine in 2005 following a traumatic motorcycle incident concerning his father.
Now, he's back in the area and giving back to kids and their families, who are facing financial hardships due to the drought, this Christmas.
Owen and fiance' Beccy set up a GoFundMe Page called 'Doin' It for Rural Aussie Kids' which has enabled the duo to provide more than 200 children from drought-affected areas with presents this Christmas.
"I know the effects the drought has on farmers, that's where my roots started, so, It's something I've been passionate about over the last seven years," Owen said.
Owen's latest endeavour led him back to Tottenham, about an hour and forty minutes from Dubbo, to meet with a boy named Eli who was able to declare himself cancer-free this month.
Eli, who was diagnosed with A.LL Leukaemia in 2017, and his family, were among those who received Christmas gifts from Owen.
Owen drove from where he currently lives on the Central Coast to deliver the gifts in person, and while he's in town, he will usually visit the school at that location.
"Going back to Tottenham, in particular, was extremely emotional," Owen said.
"Seeing Eli and being able to give him and his family a helping hand this Christmas was amazing, and to be able to go back to my primary school and share my story with the kids there is just such an amazing experience," the singer said.
"Tottenham School is more like a family than students and teachers. It got me through one of the most traumatic times of my life (referring to the 2005 incident).
"I wanted the kids there, most of which are children of old friends of mine, to know that they can do whatever they put their minds to and to believe in themselves.
"Kids in rural areas don't have the opportunities kids in metro areas have, but I want them to know they can do anything they want to.
"Not only do I want to raise awareness around the severity of the drought and the impact it has on families in rural areas and help to give some of these kids the Christmas they deserve, but I also want to inspire these kids by sharing my story with them."
Owen's next bout of fundraising will go towards providing drought-affected kids with back-to-school starter packs in January 2020. You can follow Owen's journey on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JasonOwenOfficial.