Jenna Whiteman and her father Roger are devastated the money she had been raising for a school trip was stolen from her home.
Jenna Whiteman and her father Roger are devastated the money she had been raising for a school trip was stolen from her home. Patrick Woods

LOW ACT: Thief steals money meant for orphans

MONTHS of schoolgirl Jenna Whiteman's charity fundraising efforts have been crushed by a bold thief.

But she is rallying with the support of her family, friends and wider community to deliver donations to orphaned children.

The Nambour Christian College Year 12 student has been selling homemade chocolate balls through her family's Maroochydore fish and chip shop for the past few months.

Her sister Bryar and other family members had helped her make them in aid of an upcoming mission trip to a Fiji orphanage.

The treats had earned her about $3,500, which once Miss Whiteman's travel was covered, would all be going to orphans.

She was left devastated, however, after a break-in at her family's Nambour Heights home.

Her dad Roger Whiteman said the thief's car was still in the driveway when his wife returned home from an outing about 10.50am on July 13.

"She didn't see them in the house," Mr Whiteman said.

"They were downstairs."

He said his wife had mistaken the vehicle for a friend of her son's and went about her normal business when she entered the home.

The thief was out of the house when she came across him in the yard.

He explained he was looking for a place where he was to do some concreting work.

Mr Whiteman said his wife had not yet realised the theft and accepted the man's explanation, directing him to a house where work was going on nearby.

The thief was in his car and gone before she realised a downstairs window was open and things were missing.

Mr Whiteman said apart from the tin containing his daughter's raised funds, the thief had also cracked a cash box containing two days of takings from his business.

Jewellery, alcohol and other items were also gone.

 

Jenna Whiteman is devastated the money she had been raising for a school trip was stolen from her home. She had been working hard to raise it by making chocolate balls that were being sold at her family's fish and chip shop, Fish on In.
Jenna Whiteman is devastated the money she had been raising for a school trip was stolen from her home. She had been working hard to raise it by making chocolate balls that were being sold at her family's fish and chip shop, Fish on In. Patrick Woods

Miss Whiteman, 17, said she had raised the funds to help Fijian orphans.

"They don't really have anything and we have enough," Miss Whiteman said.

"We are living comfortably but they are not."

So she has restarted her chocolate ball efforts and received further support.

A portion of the price of each family pack at the Fish On In shop has been donated and customers have really got behind it.

"It has definitely helped," Miss Whiteman said.

"I am working most days to get it back."

Some other nearby businesses have also helped promote the fundraising efforts.

She was hopeful of replenishing her donations in time for the September trip.

Police said they were looking for a potential suspect for the break in.

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.



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