I began volunteering at KOALA Kids in March this year. Completing my final year of an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts and planning a degree in journalism, I was searching for a worthwhile way to devote my free time that could additionally improve my career-oriented skills. KOALA Kids particularly inspired me after meeting Mandy through friends of her families, and hearing of the foundations mission to provide the little things that make a difference to children and adolescents with cancer and their families.
My volunteering experience has been invaluable, having being involved in many different areas including distributing donations, event organisation and social-media co-ordination. Of particular interest has been collaborating with Peter MacCallums OnTrac division, an exciting new venture for KOALA Kids to further its efforts by providing suitable donations for adolescents and young adults. Most importantly, volunteering at KOALA Kids is extremely rewarding. It is amazing to consider even the smallest things achieved in a day in the office, such as filling an admission bag or a pill swallowing kit, can positively impact children and families during their cancer journey.
Further KOALA Kids relies on the generosity of donors and volunteers and it has been highly inspiration to witness how many people with much more demanding schedules than myself, devote so how of their time and effort to the foundation.
What a day we had last Monday in the Children’s Cancer Centre at The Royal Children’s Hospital!
In celebration of the AFL grand final, KOALA Kids invited Richmond’s Matt Dea and recently retired Jake King and Daniel Jackson into the Kookaburra ward to visit the kids and their families. Lots of kids were wearing their favourite footy colour and regardless of whether they were Tiger fans or not, the boys were greeted with smiles and excitement everywhere.
Slattery Media and Neridah McMullin had donated lots of fabulous footy story books for the boys to read with the kids and they also enjoyed sitting around chatting – about football and even their treatments.
Two particularly excited Richmond fans in the Isolation unit not usually allowed visitors, made an exception for Jake King, who was able to then surprise his young fans wearing a hospital gown and chat to them excitedly about football, the grand final and their lives in general.
Each of the boys were really warm and generous with themselves and the families were so appreciative of the time taken out of their break from football to make the kids day so special.
KOALA Kids September book club was an exciting one with visiting author Diana Lawrenson, read the children at the Royal Children’s Cancer Centre two of her books!
After listening to ‘Crocodile River’ a picture book about a salt water croc named Cranky who struggles through the cycle of growing up as a croc and the fight for survival the group was able to touch real crocodile eggs and teeth that Diana had bought in with her. They were then able to create crocodile jaws using art material provided by KOALA Kids.
After Diana read ‘Paraphernalia’s Present’ wearing her chook’s hat, the children enjoyed more activities
Warmest thanks Diana for your time and enthusiasm, adding to the richness of KOALA Kids literacy program!
KOALA Kids is sure that the children at Monash Children’s Cancer Centre enjoy your visit and have just as much fun when you visit next Wednesday.
You can view more of Diana and Diana’s books on her website by clicking here.