Collingwood Children’s Farm was robbed on Wednesday night. Staff arrived on Thursday morning to find glass strewn across their office’s floor, the internet connection severed and the safe gone.
“I don’t know how much money was in the safe, but our float alone is $700, and they would have taken all our cash takings,” says marketing and project coordinator Sophie Rasic.
This is small change for most commercial businesses, but the farm is a registered charity with meagre budgets. Since 1979, it’s taught kids and adults about agriculture and the importance of the food system.
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“The farm isn’t funded in the way similar organisations are,” Rasic says. “Much of what the farm relies on is visitor entry, which is the majority of our funding.”
The thieves also took all the farm’s keys, jeopardising security across the rest of the property, which houses horses, pigs and other animals. The staff acted quickly yesterday and today to replace all the locks and padlocks, incurring several hundred dollars more costs, including temporary security guards overnight.
You can help by visiting the farm this weekend (there’s a brand-new farmers market debuting at Abbotsford Convent next door), buying an annual membership or donating online.
“Donations will help us recover what we’ve lost and to ensure that the people and animals are safe,” Rasic says.
The farm is also closing on June 17 for a planned fundraiser, involving a big bonfire, food, wine, face-painters, dancers and live music.