Warm fuzzies in Woden Valley as toddlers lead the kindness charge
A group of senior citizens living in the Woden Valley community, Canberra’s first satellite city, were surprised and delighted last week by the arrival of pictures, cards and messages from young children attending the Lyons Early Childhood School, run by Woden Community Service.
Reporting on the story, local news source Riot ACT said the initiative was born when educators at the early learning service were speaking with the children about kindness and the importance of connection as the world navigates the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a community based service, connecting with local residents is a priority, one educator said, explaining that the idea was born while chatting with the children about some of the ways in which life has changed as a result of the pandemic.
“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,” she added.
The children suggested the pictures may cheer their older friends up, and from there, the artworks were created. Once finished, the works were given to Woden Community Services Social Groups Co-ordinator, Sandy Van Der Toorn, who distributed them to local residents.
Well received by the community, Ms Van Der Toorn said the residents were delighted and surprised to have been thought of, and responded with smiles and happiness. As a collective, and with Ms Van Der Toorn’s support, the residents have returned the favour in kind, making cards to send back to the children.
The children were thrilled to receive a message back, showing them the boomerang effect of good deeds. In return, they wrote to the residents saying:
“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”.
To read the original coverage of this story, complete with images of both the children and their older friends, please see here.