AMONG the thousands of people inspired by the bucket list of the late Kaileigh Fryer are five Carroll College year 12 students aiming at the list’s biggest item – to open an orphanage.
Samantha Smith, Sam Law, Holly Beckett, Mikaela Eltherington and Renee Tyrrell have formed The Smiling Angels Project, which is raising funds to establish an orphanage for children of AIDS victims in South Africa.
Kaileigh, who lost her life in a car accident in Sydney on April 9, was a Carroll College student herself and provided plenty of inspiration to the girls, despite being a few years their senior.
“Kaileigh was a good friend to me,” Samantha Smith said.
“When I was in year seven she helped me with a bullying encounter. I looked up to her like a big sister, and she was like that with everyone.”
Samantha remembers hearing about Kaileigh’s passing.
“I was at work and I got a message,” she recalled.
“I was speechless. I got onto her Facebook page and just broke down. It affected a lot of people like that.”
Many of the entries on Kaileigh’s bucket list, which was distributed at her funeral on April 22, are relatively simple, like planting a tree or completing a scrapbook, but opening an orphanage is a big task, something not lost on Kaileigh’s mother Michelle Fryer.
When That’s Life magazine gave $600 to the family, she donated it straight to The Smiling Angels Project.
The project may be ambitious, but it is not without precedent for the girls.
“My older sister (Megan Smith) with friends from university organised for an AIDS clinic to be established at an existing orphanage in South Africa,” Samantha said.
“Then we saw that number 36 on Kaileigh’s bucket list was to open an orphanage.”
However, the girls know the size of the task ahead of them, and are in the process of getting an Australian Business Number, which will enable them to gain the charity status they need.
“We’ve all grown up a lot in the past five days,” Samantha said.
“People have said you don’t know who you are dealing with and you are not prepared.”
Despite this, many Eurobodalla businesses have pledged to pitch in to help.
The goal is to set up the facility for less that $250,000, in KwaZulu-Natal, one of the poorest provinces in the country.
You can find The Smiling Angels Project on Facebook.