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Leongatha’s Key Assets receives gifts packed with care


SOMETHING SPECIAL: South Gippsland Specialist School teacher Therese Dalmau with students Jarrod Tonkin and Nenita Lacaharia and Key Assets’ Lisa Ranahan.  

RECENTLY the Leongatha office of foster care provider Key Assets received a gift that came straight from the heart.

Thanks to some dedicated students at the South Gippsland Specialist School at Leongatha, six back packs were delivered, crammed with essentials and other goodies for kids in care.

The idea was sparked by a student at the school who has is in foster care. She knows only too well how hard it can be.

“Some kids in foster care don’t have stuff. The back pack makes them feel like someone loves them and they’ve got stuff they can go through, until they’ve got actual stuff,” she said.

“I thought it would be a good idea to donate back packs for kids and everyone agreed on that. Therese (Dalmau), our teacher, took us on an excursion to get some back packs and things to put in them.”

Underwear, textas, games, basketballs and many other items were crammed into the surprise packages.

School student Letyshya said she had chosen underwear, socks and items for drawing. The bags were made for three different age groups and for boys and girls.

Key Asset’s Lauren McLauchlan said many foster children will go from carer to carer “with a garbage bag full of clothes”.

“It’s their worldly possessions basically. When Therese reached out, she said these could be fantastic for kids going into care and placement – they’ve got a bag, they’ve got essential items. It’s just making it very personal,” she said.

“These guys are amazing. They’ve donated these back packs to us. We don’t know who they’re going to yet but they’ll be well used. We’re pleased to be offered them.”

Therese said students had thought about necessities when choosing gifts, but another important consideration was making sure the recipients had something “just for them”.

Jarrod Tonkin, for instance, bought gifts for a boy who would be much like him: sporty. Items included a basketball, a drink bottle, a ball game and a card game.

Tied to each back pack was a personalised message from the students, wishing the recipient luck and saying hello. 

“They wanted to write a little note. They did a really great job,” Therese said.

Lauren told the children that although the recipients might be feeling sad, “this will make them feel happy”.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=29875

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