AMID the disillusionment and frustration of recent attacks, Muswellbrook South Public School (MSPS) principal Glen Kite finally had something to smile about this week.
Vandals left a trail of destruction at the education facility at the start of the month, inflicting a large amount of damage to classrooms, the canteen, sports shed and property within the grounds.
Money was also stolen from the premises.
The unsavoury incident, however, had an immediate impact on Natasha Cotter, despite her having no children at MSPS.
And, on Thursday, January 16, the Westpac Muswellbrook branch manager handed over $1000 worth of gift vouchers to an appreciative Mr Kite.
"I was on holidays when I read the article on the Chronicle website," Ms Cotter said.
"At the time, I felt 'broken' for the school - the principal, teachers, staff and, most importantly, the pupils.
"I just wanted to do something.
"It's our next generation.
"The kids need to see there are people [out there] who care in their community.
"When I returned to work, I contacted Mr Kite - and here we are.
"I hope our donation helps; the school can purchase anything.
"We [Westpac] are keen to be more active in the community, too."
Mr Kite was extremely grateful for the financial services company's generosity.
"It's a wonderful gesture," he said.
"Thank you so much.
"It will make a big difference."
Although the unpleasant occurrence took place almost a fortnight ago, Mr Kite is still shaking his head in disbelief.
"I'm disappointed in the fact it could happen at MSPS," he said.
"We have a lot of pride and respect in this school.
"And, it's not just the students who honour that.
"Community members have spent time making the grounds look good, as have the teachers in their classrooms.
"I guess you expect others to boast those values [pride and respect], as well.
"Unfortunately, they don't.
"The repair bill was in the thousands of dollars - doors and windows were broken; ceramic pots, teachers' property and items (donated by local residents) smashed.
"It's just mindless destruction."