A message from the program director, Mandy Mandie

What fills KOALA Kids hearts with joy is when we meet families in the Children’s Cancer Centres and they explain first hand how much they love the small things that KOALA Kids provides their families.

See the Summer newsletter on Facebook filled with so many activities and news from the program.

Read about KOALA Kids exciting new partnership with Gracies Gift Foundation and the shoebox of fun program, an initiative of young mother, Nikki Ford in her quest to provide things for kids to do to fight the boredom of long hospital stays.

Enjoy reading too about the amazing efforts of some of KOALA Kids ambassadors at Melbourne’s primary and secondary state and independent schools late last year and see the round-up of the regular events and volunteer activities at each of the Children’s Cancer Centres.

During December and January holidays, families enjoyed a fabulous session of  iillusions and magic with internationally acclaimed Michael Boyd.  Neridah McMullin, KOALA Kids volunteer book club coordinator and herself an author, read a special selection of Christmas stories to the children at each facility and then engaged them in some fun Christmas craft activities.

Mandy at our 2014 Halloween Lunch introducing Alisha Griffiths who spoke of family's cancer journey since her 4 year old son Teddy was diagnosed with Leukaemia in September 2013.
Mandy at our 2014 Halloween Lunch introducing Alisha Griffiths who spoke of family’s cancer journey since her 4 year old son Teddy was diagnosed with Leukaemia in September 2013.

KOALA Kids is supporting Monash’s trialling an adolescent and young adult clinic and I received a warm reception from the teenagers who attended the December clinic, keen to learn about KOALA Kids and how we can work together to source small things for their dedicated space. I spoke about about the range of programs available to the adolescents and young adults during cancer treatment.

Families at Monash enjoyed KOALA Kids artist in residence program with program partner The Art Cabriolet. The program will continue to give children, adolescents and their parents and carers the opportunity to express themselves with a paint brush.

And if that wasn’t enough, hundreds of kids, siblings, parents, grandparents, carers and other visitors to the Children’s Cancer Centres enjoyed the annual KOALA Kids Christmas lucky dip, rockin’ xmas hats and reindeer headbands every visit. We provided Christmas tins filled with Hershey’s chocolates, Christmas panetones (donated by our friends at Clayton Road Deli, Clayton), Five Mile Press and Hinkler Books’ Christmas activity, sticker and colouring books, chatting santas, flashing necklaces, rings and bracelets and so much more.

KOALA Kids believes that if children and adolescents have to undergo treatment during the holidays, and siblings have to spend long hours waiting while they do, then everyone deserves as many Christmas treats as KOALA Kids is able to provide.

Similarly in January, when the temperature was on the rise outside, the kids and their families stayed cool with more fun school holiday activities, Australia Day lamingtons, finger puppets, Aussie flag tattoos, masks, silly bow ties and stickers plus lots of games, activity and Aussie holiday colouring books to pass the time.

KOALA Kids hopes that all of our friends, the families and personnel in the Children’s Cancer Centres and at Peter Mac, our generous partners, donors and enthusiastic, committed and wonderful volunteers enjoyed peaceful and festive holidays and all the best for the new year.

Mandy Mandie

Program Director

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