Blue Haven Illawarra | Packing a box of happiness, Kiama seniors and children donate to rural Australia
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Packing a box of happiness, Kiama seniors and children donate to rural Australia

Across the country people are feeling the pinch of increasing prices to everyday basics but those in remote Australia are feeling it greater which leaves many without essential toiletry items.

A group of seniors and children in Kiama decided to join forces to donate toiletry items to First Nations women in rural areas for the not-for-profit Happy Boxes Project.

“The prices are higher than they are here. They can’t really get as much as they need,” 11-year-old Alonna Webb said.

“That’s unfair prices for them but not for us.”

Media reportage of extravagant prices for essentials have made headlines such as a $74 one kilo tin of instant coffee as well as a 2020 senate inquiry into food pricing and security in remote communities.

Seniors from the Blue Haven Illawarra and the children with the Family OOSH sat together at Kiama Community Garden on September 25 to fill the bags.

The bags include donated items like shampoo, deodorant, soap, toothpaste alongside something special like nail polish and hair accessories

The inter-generational group formed after director of Family OOSH, Sabrina Kelly became inspired by the TV show Old People’s Home for Four-year-olds and reached out to the Blue Haven aged care facility in Kiama.

“A lot of the children I care for have grandparents overseas or interstate, so they miss out on connecting with the old generation and likewise for the seniors … “It’s just a real natural connection,” she said.

Children aged from four to thirteen decorated the bags as seniors were on standby for encouragement.

As the donation bags were filled, relationships blossomed between the children and seniors.

The reality is that some women go without essential toiletries, 11-year-old Savannah Hedstrom explained.

“The women choose family first, like ‘should i get this milk for my family?’ or ‘should I get this shampoo for me?’, they’ll choose the milk for their family and they put themselves last,” 11-year-old Savannah Hedstrom said.

Credit: Marlene Even – Illawarra Mercury, 25 Sept 2023

Packing a box of happiness, Kiama seniors and children donate to rural Australia | Illawarra Mercury | Wollongong, NSW


26th Sep 2023



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