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Sara connects young and old

Watch magic happen, as our Red Cross volunteer brings unlikely friends together.

Sara is no ordinary 28 year old. Her sharp memory and special way with people have helped her bring enormous good to the lives of people looking for something very simple:

Friendship. Conversation. Someone to share a laugh with.

Sara, who lives with Autism, lends a hand in a child care centre in her home town of Rockhampton. She knows every little face. She notices when some-one’s not there. She can tell if someone’s feeling a bit sad. And judging by the number of kids who gather around her, rushing in for a hug, they think she’s pretty cool too.

She also goes to an aged-care home every week, visiting a group of older people who don’t get many regular visitors. Some may feel a little cut off and isolated – but when Sara walks in they look up and smile.

“Hello Sara!” rings through the room.

Recently, Sara and her Red Cross case worker Fiona had an idea: they brought both groups together for a day of friendship and laughter. And magic happened.

As the older visitors arrive at the day care centre, a little girl claps her hands.

“The grandparents are coming!” she cries.

The older visitors settle in the shade of a large play area, surrounded by toys and books and suddenly 20 or so children are there.

Charlotte wants to know Norma’s name. Hunter is telling Pat how old he is now. Theo is talking about Spiderman. Pat is roaring with laughter. A toddler starts to cry and is quickly scooped up by experienced arms. Violet is showing Jean her new hat. Jordan says that we can have face painting if we want. And Sara sits with a child in her lap smiling and giving high fives.

Red Cross social support worker Fiona Hawe says it’s exactly what Sara and the team were hoping for.

“Some of the kids don’t have grandparents that are local or around, and the same with our ladies from the aged care facility. They have grandchildren but they may not see them all the time being interstate and that kind of thing,” she says.

“Sara is a very friendly girl.

“She knows everybody’s name off by heart.  She knows what they like, she knows where people live. She really connects to them on a personal level, one-on-one… and they always look forward to having her.”

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Sara has found a wonderful sense of purpose in connecting people who feel left out.

Your tax deductible donation could spark more life-changing connections like this, right around Australia and our region.

Please bring more good to our world by donating today.

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