Jason Owen on a Christmas gift giving tour

Jason Owen and his fiance Becy with young William and his Dad while visiting Cargo.
Jason Owen and his fiance Becy with young William and his Dad while visiting Cargo.

Former X-Factor runner up Jason Owen has brought Christmas cheer to the region a week early, delivering toys to families across the Central West.

Mr Owen and his fiance Becy have been travelling through rural Australia from Northern Queensland and stopping into Bogan Gate and Cargo to deliver toys bought through their GoFundMe page - Doin It for Rural Aussie Kids.

Mr Owen said he hoped the gifts would make this aChristmas one to remember for the families.

"We visited 10 rural schools, giving 200 kids a present and setting up families for Christmas time, it was amazing," he said.

We visited 10 rural schools, giving 200 kids a present and setting up families for Christmas time, it was amazing

Jason Owen

"It was very emotional to see the kids and hear them say 'my pop didn't put a crop in this year and it's the first time in 40 years that he hasn't', it was heart breaking to hear those stories.

"But to see the smiles on their faces when we pull out a brand new push bike or a sack of toys that they aren't allowed to open until Christmas day was great."

Mr Owen has been a champion of drought relief, donating the proceeds of his ticket sales from his shows to rural aid and the Burrumbuttock Hay Runners.

He said he hadn't expected his GoFundMe to do as well as it had.

"Because we started so late in the year, it was hard to find dollars as sponsorship money had already been given out, but we needed to start somewhere," he said.

The idea of the page was to raise a few thousand, which we did, but then all of a sudden we had thousands of dollars come in from Big W, Coles and the like sponsoring us

Jason Owen

"The idea of the page was to raise a few thousand, which we did, but then all of a sudden we had thousands of dollars come in from Big W, Coles and the like sponsoring us.

"I didn't expect to go out and have the families be so open about us coming. Farmers are very proud people, don't like to speak about their issues and are very private so it was amazing to have people nominate other families and then have them accept the nomination.

"At the end of the day we just want to give a helping hand and we didn't expect people to be so supportive of it all."

He also thanked all the people who had donated to the campaign and made it such a success.

"It was amazing to go out put smiles on faces and meet people because I've had support from people all around Australia in my career,"he said.

"To say hello, shake hands and introduce myself to them is great, they may have voted for me back when I was on X-factor or have bought an album.

"So a massive thank you to any anonymous donations, anyone who sponsored us, sent things our way, I really appreciate it.

"I hope to get back and play for you."

Mr Owen said he was now looking to 2020 and any future fundraising that may be needed.

"After looking at this year, it is going to be something big next year," he said.

"If people are interested they can check out my Facebook page or website. When it is announced we'll probably have a page set up for donations," he said.

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