The story of Sarah Paino has touched the lives of not only the local Tasmanian community but of people living across the country and overseas. In the early hours of Friday 22 January 2016 Sarah, who was 32 weeks pregnant, dropped her partner Daniel Stirling, a Baker at a Banjo’s Bakery Café (Banjo’s), to work. Travelling home with her two year old son Jordan in the back seat she was hit by a stolen vehicle which ran a red light and as a result she lost her life. The young couple’s two year old son escaped unharmed and after the amazing work from the team at the Royal Hobart Hospital, their unborn baby, later named Caleb, was safely brought into the world.
Following the tragic event, Banjo’s and MyState Bank launched a fundraising campaign to support Daniel and his boys. The outpouring from the community was unprecedented and the initial target of $10,000 was quickly surpassed. Within five hours over $30,000 had been donated and by the end of the first week over $370,000 was raised.
Thanks to the kind support of the media, Sarah’s story has even touched the hearts of people living overseas. Donations, heartfelt letters and gifts for the two young Stirling boys have come in from across the world.
The people of Tasmania have demonstrated that community spirit, love, support and generosity still exists. Banjo’s, MyState Bank and many other local businesses have given their support by providing donation tins and hosting special fundraising events. As for the public, people have been donating anything they can, regardless of their own financial positions, to support the young family. Despite the end of the MyCause online fundraiser, there is without doubt the community will continue to support the Stirling family in any way they can.
The total money raised from all outlets is a staggering $570,795. Everyone who donated in some way or another should be praised as they have proven the act of selflessness does exist.
Independent financial advice was sought and received from KPMG to ensure the funds would be managed in keeping with the sentiment of the generous donors and to provide financial security for the young family into the future. A meeting was held on the 12 February 2016. The parties included Daniel Stirling, Banjo’s, KPMG and the Public Trustee. It was agreed that the funds raised from all parties were to be transferred and held by the Public Trustee on behalf of Daniel and the children. These funds are currently held by the Public Trustee.