Letters written by American schoolchildren to Australian firefighters are being distributed to members of Wyndham’s fire stations.
Tarneit woman Irene Hannah said her son Peter is a firefighter at the Tri-county Mansfield fire station in New Jersey, which has a “sister” relationship with the Mansfield fire brigade in Victoria.
When Peter visited Australia last month, he brought 10 letters from pupils who attend Mansfield Elementary School in New Jersey with him.
Peter’s daughters Kayleigh and Jessica are students at the school.
Mrs Hannah said children at the school, including Kayleigh’s grade 4 classmates, wanted to thank the Australian firefighters for their efforts in the recent bushfire.
Pupils at the school from Kayleigh’s year level, who are aged around nine to 10, wrote the letters and decorated them with artwork, for Peter to bring to Australia.
“It was the students who asked the teacher if they could do it,” Mrs Hannah said.
Mrs Hannah said she presented some of the letters to firefighters from the Truganina station last week, and that she was also planning on giving some of the letters to firefighters based in Hoppers Crossing and Tarneit.
In addition, she is planning to post some of the letters to the Mansfield fire brigade.
Volunteers from all the stations helped to battle the bushfires which burned through Victoria and New South Wales in December and January.
“I think it just reconnects people from so far away, it just opens the door to people caring no matter where they are from,” Mrs Hannah said.
Mrs Hannah said she would take photos of the Australian firefighters reading the letters, to send back to the US school pupils.