They say that charity begins at home – but the generosity shown by Australian children over the last 12 months reveals that it may just begin at school!

Jeans for Genes has released the Top 10 Fundraising Schools for 2018, and it shows that modern-day kids aren’t just sitting around playing video games – they are making a real difference in the lives of others by raising thousands of dollars to help the scientists at Children’s Medical Research Institute find cures for children with genetic diseases.

It seems that the revelation during last year’s campaign that 1 in 20 kids face a birth defect or genetic disease really hit home when kids realised that includes someone in every classroom!

Jeans for Genes’ Head of Fundraising, Andrew Kelly, said more than 12,000 schools have taken part in the campaign since it started 26 years ago.

“Schools are the success behind Jeans for Genes,’’ Mr Kelly said. “Together, both in the classroom and in the laboratory, we are working with the aim of giving every child the best start to life. It is a privilege to work in partnership with every school on this important goal, protecting the health of our nation’s greatest treasure: our children.’’

While today’s young people might have to deal with the stereotype of sitting around taking selfies, Mr Kelly said the 2018 fundraising statistics show a different picture.

“Giving is one of the most powerful forces we know of to create lasting change,’’ he said. “Children understand this intuitively. Nurturing a mindset and culture of giving is good for the child, the school, and our society at large.

“We would not be able to do the important work of research into children’s genetic diseases without the sustained generosity of our partner schools.’’

Jeans for Genes was established in 1994 by Children’s Medical Research Institute to fund revolutionary genetic research to better diagnose, understand, and treat conditions affecting kids, including rare genetic disorders, cancer, epilepsy and birth defects.

This year, Jeans for Genes Day will be on Friday, 2 August but you can help raise money in the name of 1 in 20 Aussie kids any time. Sign up your school now and start planning fun events, like a blue cake stall, movie night, or daring denim fashion parade.

For more information or to Sign Up your school in support of the cause, visit and go to the Get Involved page of our website.

  1. Penrith Anglican College, Orchard Hills $5,307
  2. Malek Fahd Islamic School, Greenacre $4,532
  3. Al Noori Muslim School, Greenacre $4,400 (Total raised: $12,585)
  4. Normanhurst Boys High School, Normanhurst $3,411
  5. Inaburra School, Bangor $3,357
  6. Wenona School, North Sydney $3,000 (Total raised: $5,142)
  7. Redlands Preparatory School, Cremorne $2,675 (Total raised: $5,444)
  8. SCEGGS Darlinghurst, Darlinghurst $2,360 (Total raised: $10,189)
  9. Freeman Catholic College, Bonnyrigg Heights $2,003 (Total raised: $18,870)
  10. Taylors College, Waterloo $2,000 (Total raised: $8,488)

Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) pioneered microsurgery, immunisations against lethal childhood illnesses, and care for premature babies, all of which has improved the lives of countless Australian children over the last 60 years. Today, CMRI is an independent institute and the site of world-leading research in the areas of cancer, neurobiology, embryology, proteogenomics and gene therapy. CMRI is affiliated with the University of Sydney and is a founding partner of Paediatrio and the Westmead Research Hub. Find out more at This not-for-profit institute is funded by competitive grants and a community of supporters who participate in events like Jeans for Genes Day, which is held on the first Friday in August. Visit