A creative Cairns school has turned the humble shoe box into a heartwarming vessel of kindness and joy.
Students, families and staff from Mother of Good Counsel School (MOGC) in North Cairns created a “Shoe Box Surprise” for local aged care residents during the recent school holidays.
“Each decorated shoebox contained a card or letter, with a family photo, telling a little about their family and offering good wishes,” MOGC Assistant Principal Religious Education, Manda Young, said.
“They also included a positive quote, a prayer or blessing, a homemade item of art or craft, a lovely cake of soap and a MOGC pen.”
“Some families added other bits and pieces. After the holidays, the boxes started coming in and my office looked like Christmas!”
Some residents shed tears of joy when the brightly wrapped boxes were delivered with help from MOGC school captains Luca Orlandi and Stella Busby.
“The staff were really happy with the delivery and since I had had a flu shot, I was able to go into the residence to help deliver some of the boxes,” Manda said.
“The residents were overwhelmed. One of the ladies just cried with joy. She looked at the family photo and said, ‘This beautiful family made this for me! It is so beautiful. How can I thank them?’ She held the photo to her heart.”
A total of 75 boxes were created for Mercy Place Westcourt and 10 boxes were made for the Centacare FNQ Social Wellbeing Hub at Holloways Beach.
The idea of the “Shoe Box Surprise” came about after Year 4 students from MOGC created posters, cards and paper flowers to spread cheer during the lengthy COVID-19 shutdown.
“It was an opportunity for our MOGC parents to share the values of giving, sharing, compassion and kindness with their children by together caring for the elderly and showing them that they are thought of and valued,” Manda said.
“It was an opportunity to show our children how we can make a difference in the lives of others and action the works of mercy.”
“I believe it brought as much joy to the givers and it did the receivers.”
Learn more about Mother of Good Counsel School, North Cairns here.