Last week a number of seniors living in the Woden Valley were surprised and delighted to receive pictures and cards from young children.
The children, attending Woden Community Service’s Lyons Early Learning Centre, made the pictures to give to local senior residents in response to the COVID-19 restrictions.
The initiative came about when educators at Lyons Early Learning Centre were teaching about kindness and the importance of connection.
“Woden Community Service is a community organisation which helps build and support connections in our community. Here at Lyons Early Learning Centre we wanted to reflect that,” said Amy, an Early Learning Educator at the Centre.
Amy explained the initiative came about as a result of a conversation with the children about why some of their daily activities had changed due to COVID-19.
“The educators explained to the children the nasty bug that is going around the world and how it is important for all of us to stay safe and avoid getting sick. Then we explained to the children that it is not only them that can’t go out, it is everyone. In particular, our community friends who are in their senior years.”
The children were asked ‘How can we show kindness?’ One child suggested drawing a picture and giving it to their community friends.
From there the children got to work on their ‘Kindness Initiative’, creating lovely individualised artworks that they could gift to a community friend.
“When the children were creating their paintings they were very happy knowing they are making a painting to help brighten the day of another and making someone smile,” said Amy.
Once created the paintings were dropped off to senior residents in the Woden Valley by WCS’s Social Groups Coordinator, Sandy Van Der Toorn.
“All our seniors were really surprised that someone had thought about them,” said Sandy.
“Then there were big smiles and comments: “Oh, how gorgeous “, “Really, one for me?”, “Oooh, isn’t that so lovely!”
The recipients of the artworks decided to continue the Kindness Initiative by returning the gesture back to the children.
Some took to learning a new skill, with one person commenting, “Oh, my goodness, I have never made a card but I will!”
Other acts of kindness were evident, with one of the ladies making two cards, one from herself and one from her friend who is sight-impaired.
It was no surprise that the children at Lyons were delighted to receive the returning messages from local residents. The kindness shown by the children went out into the world and then came right back to them, and became the motivation for this poem from the children:
“We thank you for our cards,
They made us smile and feel happy, we also know they made you feel happy too,
We are two and do love stickers
We also love to play with our friends.
And now we can say we have some new friends in our local community.
Always remember we are all in this together,
Keep Smiling, my educators and I thank you”.
Connecting with older people during the coronavirus pandemic is crucial. If you would like some ideas on how to help, visit:
- Connect with Ageless Friendships (ABC)
- Reaching out to isolated older adults is essential during coronavirus – here are 7 specific things you can do, just for starters (The Conversation)